October 21, 2014

Health Department says most Iowans need a tetanus shot booster

State health officials say if you are cleaning up after floods and other storms you should make sure your tetanus vaccination is up to date. Iowa Department of Public Health Medical Director, Patricia Quinlisk, says although the vaccine is good for about ten years, if you can’t remember the last time you had one, it’s probably time.

“We believe about 90-percent of Iowans need to be given booster shot, because they are not up to date on their tetanus boosters. So this is a good time to remind yourself to go in and make sure you’re all up to date, so if you do get a wound you don’t get sick from it,” Quinlisk says.

Dr. Quinlisk says the vaccine also has an added, important benefit. “And that’s because we have a new tetanus booster shot that’s got the pertussis or the whooping cough in it too. We know that almost no adults in Iowa have gotten that whooping cough booster and were are recommending that everybody get that. So when you go in to get the tetanus booster, you can get the booster for the whopping cough — which is a really good idea — get them both at once,” Quinlisk says.

She says while tetanus is not likely to be fatal, whooping cough kills dozens of children nationwide each year and adults can be carriers without knowing it.