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Time for Tetanus Shots
Warm weather leisure activities put us at risk of being exposed to tetanus. Statistics show that more than half of all adults are not protected against this vaccine-preventable disease.

May 18, 2004


Charlotte, NC - Tetanus doesn't just come from rusty nails. Warm weather leisure activities like gardening or home improvement projects put us at risk of being exposed to this bacteria. Trouble is, statistics show that more than half of all adults are not protected against the vaccine-preventable diseases tetanus and diptheria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 31% of tetanus-related injuries occur in yards, gardens, and farms, and another 23% occur in other outdoor locations.

School-aged children receive a tetanus and diptheria vaccine as part of their regular vaccination schedule, but adult patients often aren't fully and currently immunized against tetanus and diphtheria. According to the CDC, in 1998-2000, only 40% of persons 65 years and older reported receiving a booster dose of tetanus toxoid in the previous 10 years. During this same time period 75% of reported tetanus deaths occurred among patients 60 years of age or older.

Other at-risk populations include persons of Hispanic ethnicity, older diabetics, injection-drug users, pregnant women, persons with philosophical objections to vaccines, and persons who might not have received a primary series vaccination.

To protect yourself:

  • Keep your immunity current with a tetanus/diphtheria booster every 10 years.
  • Wear gloves and/or proper protective clothing while working or playing outdoors to guard against cuts, scratches and other injuries that may expose you to bacteria.
  • Schedule an appointment with the Mecklenburg County Health Department's immunization clinic by calling 704-336-6500. This vaccination is FREE OF CHARGE for both children and adults.

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Media Contact: D.C. Lucchesi at 704-432-0344 or

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