Free tetanus vaccination for those involved in storm related cle - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Free tetanus vaccination for those involved in storm related cleanup

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CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB) -- If you have been affected by the recent tornadoes and storms or have been assisting with cleanup, you may come to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department for a free tetanus shot.

The risk of injury is high during a storm and while working to cleanup the aftermath. Prompt first aid can help heal small wounds and prevent infection. Medical care should be sought for more serious cuts or wounds.

Tetanus is a potential health threat for persons who have open wounds. Tetanus is a very rare but serious illness caused when C. tetani bacteria, which is found naturally in the soil, enter puncture wounds or cuts. It is easily prevented through routine vaccination of children and adults. In addition to immunization, wearing protective gear such as heavy gloves and sturdy shoes when handling storm debris can help prevent exposure to the bacteria.

Adults and children should routinely receive a dose of tetanus vaccine every 10 years. If you experience a cut or puncture wound, you should clean it with soap and water and consult your healthcare provider.

When you experience an injury, your healthcare provider may recommend that you receive a tetanus booster if it has been more than five years since your last dose. Many health care providers, immunizing pharmacists, and all local health departments routinely offer tetanus-containing vaccines for people who need it.

Recommendations for routine tetanus immunization:
•    Children: DTaP at ages 2, 4, 6, 12 – 15 months, and 4 to 6 years of age
•    Adolescents: a single dose of Tdap at 11-12 years of age, then Td every 10 years
•    Adults: a single dose of Tdap, then Td every 10 years

All adults and children age 11 and up should receive one tetanus vaccine that also contains the Pertussis booster (Tdap). This protects not only themselves from pertussis-whooping cough-but also those infants and children around them who are too young to be completely immunized and who can become seriously ill if infected with pertussis.

In addition, all tetanus vaccine preparations contain diphtheria toxoid which protects individuals from diphtheria disease.

For more information call your healthcare provider or the Health Department at 209-8190. We will offer free tetanus vaccination at the following clinics for those affected by the tornadoes and those assisting with cleanup.

•    Third Street Facility – 209-8340
•    Ooltewah Health Center – 238-4269
•    Sequoyah Health Center – 842-3031
•    Birchwood Health Center – 961-0446

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