All travellers should have completed the primary vaccination course according to the UK schedule. Travellers who have not had a booster dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine within the previous ten years may require a further booster dose of a tetanus/diphtheria/inactivated polio vaccine (Td/IPV) in accordance with official recommendations. This will depend on the nature of travel and destination.


Tetanus is transmitted through open wounds contaminated by bacteria found in soil and manure.

Vaccination schedule

Brand Vaccine information Primary course Booster


  • Inactivated, adsorbed
  • Licensed from six years of age
  • Not indicated
  • Single dose; effective after one month if given within ten years of a completed primary immunisation of tetanus, diphtheria and polio
  • Lasts up to ten years

The information below is based on Public Health England recommendations; individual Summaries of Product Characteristics should be referred to for manufacturer recommendations regarding individual brands.

Acute illness

If a patient is suffering from an acute illness, immunisation should be postponed until they have recovered. Patients with minor infections without fever or systemic upset do not need to postpone their vaccination schedule.

Administration with other vaccines

Tetanus vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines such as MMR, MenC and hepatitis B as long as they are administered at different sites.

Immunocompromised patients

Tetanus vaccine should be given to patients who are immunocompromised if they are travelling to an area of risk, however it may not be as effective. Specialist advice may be required.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

No harmful effects due to tetanus vaccination during pregnancy or breast-feeding have been reported so it may be given when clinically indicated.