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Who is at highest risk for getting Tetanus?


Individuals most at risk for developing tetanus include:1 2 3

  • Those injured with an item that may be contaminated with tetanus
  • Persons who undergo medical treatments in unsanitary conditions
  • Anyone who inject themselves with drugs, including diabetics
  • Intravenous (IV) drug users
  • Persons who are immunocompromised
  • Heroin users, as the growth of tetanus may be supported by the use of quinine, often used to dilute heroin.

Persons who sustain superficial wounds may also be at a high risk for developing tetanus if the wound is not properly cared for.4

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Tetanus and the Tetanus vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents , which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

« Return to Vaccines & Diseases Table of Contents


1 CDC Traveler’s Health – Tetanus – Who is at Risk? Mar. 9, 2013

2 CDC Tetanus – Secular Trends in the United States Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

3 CDC Tetanus For Clinicians – Risk Groups Feb. 28, 2019

4 CDC Tetanus – Epidemiology Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.

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