June 28, 2024, 10:30 a.m.

Before a vaccine for tetanus was developed, the infection caused many deaths in the United States; now, there are only about a dozen deaths from tetanus each year in the U.S., and those are usually in people who are completely unvaccinated or older people who didn’t get their tetanus booster. Jamie Kondis, MD, a Washington University pediatrician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, emphasizes three things about the tetanus vaccine.

  • Get the vaccine for your children. Children begin to receive the tetanus vaccine when they’re just a couple of months old.
  • Your child will need occasional tetanus boosters. Keep up to date with the boosters.
  • If your child injures themselves on a dirty piece of wood or rusty nail, call their pediatrician. They will be able to check your child’s vaccine status right away and let you know if they need to come in for a booster.

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Jamie KondisDr. Kondis, MD, specializes in pediatric emergency medicine and child abuse pediatrics. She is a graduate of Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri and received her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her pediatric residency at Washington University / St. Louis Children’s Hospital and then served for a year as chief resident.