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If you had incurred a wound such as a cut or a puncture, you’re more vulnerable to tetanus. Especially if the object that injured you is contaminated. In that case, the bacteria will enter your body if you don’t treat your injury right away.

Fortunately, tetanus can be prevented by vaccines. Such are widely available around the US and have helped fatalities caused by the bacteria to become rare. We can say that it’s an important part of health care in the country.

That said, how much does a tetanus shot cost?

Average Tdap Vaccine Cost

The range of the Tdap vaccine cost is about $12 to a little over $40. The prices are true if we base them on the list provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Note that CDC has listed both the contract and private sector vaccine prices. The former was established by CDC for the purchase of vaccines by immunization programs. The list is as follows:

  • Pediatric/VFC Vaccine
  • Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
    • Tenivac (10 pack, 1 dose vial): $19.69 (contract), $32.27 (private sector)
    • Td Vaccine (10 pack, 1 dose vial): $12.51, $23.93
  • Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid, and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap)
    • Boostrix (10 pack, 1 dose vial): $31.37, $38.61
    • Adacel (10 pack, 1 dose vial): $30.99, $43.42
  • Adult Vaccine
  • Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
    • Td Vaccine (10 pack, 1 dose vial): $12.51 (contract), $23.93 (private sector)
  • Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid, and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap)
    • Boostrix:
      • $24.36, $37.55 (10 pack, 1 dose vial)
      • $24.84, $37.55 (10 pack, 1 dose syringe)
    • Adacel:
      • $23.72, $43.42 (10 pack, 1 dose vial)
      • $24.48, $43.42 (5 pack, 1 dose syringe)

For an updated list of prices, you can visit one of CDC’s web pages.

Sample Vaccine Prices

How much does tetanus shot price if we look at private centers? Apparently, the vaccine is costlier. Here are sample costs posted online:

  • Minute Clinic
  • Tetanus, diphtheria (Td): $75
  • Tdap vaccine: $95
  • Advanced Urgent Care
  • Td: $30
  • Tdap vaccine: $53
  • GoodRX
  • Tdap vaccine (Adacel): $50
  • Tdap vaccine (Boostrix): $46

Note that if you’re backed by insurance, the program must cover the tetanus vaccine. That is, without charging you a copayment or coinsurance.

Still, it will be better if you directly ask your insurance provider regarding the details of their coverage.

When to Administer Tetanus Vaccine

After knowing how much does tetanus shot cost, you should also know when you should receive the vaccine. Here are some guidelines from

  • The Tdap vaccine is commonly administered to infants. Specifically, there should be a schedule of 4 doses at 2, 4, 6, and 15-18 months of age. Another dose is also given at 4 to 6 years of age.
  • Aside from that, those who already received a Tdap should also get a booster vaccination along with the tetanus-diphtheria (Td). The said booster is recommended by experts every 10 years.

Take note that the Td vaccine is a booster given to adolescents and adults. Tdap, on the other hand, also contains protection against pertussis.

  • When your infant reaches 11-12 years, he/she should also receive a single dose of Tdap.
  • You should also get a booster vaccination if you happen to sustain a deep, contaminated wound. Furthermore, some people should receive it after just 5 years as their protective antibody levels tend to fall within that period.
  • If you didn’t receive a vaccine when you’re still a child, you need to get a series of 3 tetanus immunizations.
  • Basically, you need to receive booster shots throughout your life.


Apparently, not everyone can receive the Tdap vaccine. According to Walgreens, the following people are not allowed to get the vaccination:

  • A person who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of DTP, DTaP, DT, Td, or Tdap.
  • A person who had a coma or long/multiple seizures within 7 days after a dose of DTP or DTaP.
  • A person who is moderately or severely ill. He/she should wait until full recovery.

Additionally, you should consult your healthcare provider if the person getting the vaccine has:

  • Epilepsy or another nervous system problem
  • Severe swelling or severe pain after a previous dose of DTP, DTaP, DT, Td, or Tdap
  • Has had a Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)

You should also take note of the following side effects of Tdap and Td vaccines:

  • Mild to moderate
  • Soreness or redness on the area where the shot was administered by provider
  • Severe
  • Deep, aching pain/loss of muscle strength in the upper arm
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Pale skin
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness

Note that the severe problems are extremely rare. To avoid triggering such symptoms, consult your healthcare provider first, especially if you have an allergy.

Tetanus Prevention (Other Than Vaccine)

Aside from the reliable tetanus shots, what else can you do to prevent the bacteria from wreaking havoc in your body?

CDC advises that you should observe proper caring of the wound. Immediate treatment can greatly help in preventing infection. Some of their tips include:

  • Quickly apply first aid for infected wounds, even minor ones, such as blisters, scrapes, or any break in the skin. Do not delay.
  • Wash hands with soap and water. If washing is not possible, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Consult your doctor.

Symptoms of Tetanus

In the event that vaccine and proper wound care is not enough, you will observe the following symptoms of tetanus:

  • Jaw cramping
  • Muscle spasms (often in the stomach)
  • Painful muscle stiffness all over the body
  • Trouble with swallowing
  • Seizures (jerking or staring)
  • Headache
  • Fever and sweating
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate

If any of the signs manifests, seek medical help. Let the doctor examine you or your patient. If diagnosed, note that Tetanus is a medical emergency which requires immediate treatment.

You (or your patient) will also undergo aggressive wound care, take drugs (to control spasm) and antibiotics, and of course, tetanus vaccination. If the infection is serious, a machine to assist in breathing might be needed.

To avoid getting to the point where you or your loved one will be needing emergency treatment, get a vaccine and always take care!

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