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TT Injection in Pregnancy: Dosage, Side Effects & More!

TT injections are necessary during pregnancy. Read this blog to find out why TT injections are important when they should be taken, and their side effects.

6 min read
TT Injection in Pregnancy: Dosage, Side Effects & More!

Tetanus is a life-threatening disease for which there is no cure, but the Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine can be used to prevent it. TT injection in pregnancy helps in making antibodies in the mother. These antibodies are then passed on to the growing baby so as to provide immunity in the initial few days until the baby receives its first dose.

What are TT Injections?

Tetanus vaccine, conjointly referred to as Tetanus Toxoid, is an anatoxin vaccine formulated to prevent Tetanus. Tetanus is a severe bacterial infection characterised by painful spasms of voluntary muscles. It occurs due to a toxin-producing bacteria called Clostridium Tetani. Tetanus is also referred to as 'lockjaw' since it results in locking a person's neck and jaw.

Throughout childhood, five doses are counselled, with a sixth given during adolescence. After administering three doses, virtually everyone seems to be immune at first; however, extra doses are administered every ten years to keep up the immunity.

Why Is TT Injection Given During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy leads to several immunity changes in an adult female body, making them prone to several infectious diseases. These diseases have the potential to dangerously impacting pregnancy, the foetus within the womb, as well as the newborn. Tetanus vaccine in pregnancy protects mothers and foetuses from severe infectious diseases by strengthening the body's immune systems.

Please note that not all vaccinations are safe during pregnancy. Vaccines like the Human Papillomavirus vaccine, Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine, and chickenpox vaccine are unsafe during pregnancy and shouldn't be taken without a doctor's advice.

Also Read: 10 Different List of Scans During Pregnancy Explained - Be Bodywise

Is TT Injection Safe During Pregnancy?

Some inactivated vaccines like TT injection in pregnancy and Tdap vaccines are safe. According to the research by WHO, these vaccines are administered to pregnant women in a vulnerable stage of infection. The prime goal of administering Tetanus injection in pregnancy is to provide a shield against Tetanus.

To protect the mother, her foetus, or newborn for the initial few months, the doctor will administer either two doses of TT injection during pregnancy a minimum of twenty-eight days apart or one dose of TT injection and one dose of Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis).

Tetanus injections in pregnancy haven't been shown to harm either the mother or baby/foetus. Administering the vaccine throughout pregnancy doesn't place patients at an increased risk for pregnancy complications like low birth weight or preterm delivery.

How Many TT Injections Are Given During Pregnancy?

If you've been vaccinated in your childhood or adolescence, two doses which are a minimum of four weeks apart, will be given during pregnancy. Your doctor will decide in which month of your pregnancy you're supposed to take these doses. These two doses provide immunity for 1-3 years.

According to the latest WHO guidelines, if you haven't been vaccinated before, you should get your first shot as soon as possible, the second shot after 4 weeks, followed by the third shot 6 months later. With three jabs, you'll be protected against Tetanus for around 5 years.

In Which Month TT Injection Is Given in Pregnancy?

The first TT injection in pregnancy is usually administered between 13-39 weeks of pregnancy. It should be taken as soon as you find out that you're pregnant. The 2nd TT injection dose in pregnancy is administered around four weeks later. Studies show that 80% or more of newborns whose mothers received their 1st tetanus toxoid injection 60 days or more before delivery were seen to be well protected against this bacterial infection.

The National Protection Schedule in India recommends two doses of TT in pregnant women who haven't been vaccinated before or don't know about their immune status. Hence if you're a mom-to-be, you should take your first dose as soon as you realise that you're pregnant. It would be best if you took the second dose around four weeks later or as your doctor recommends. Some specialists advocate that the second dose of the vaccine should be taken four weeks before the expected delivery date.

In case of subsequent pregnancies, if you're pregnant with a baby within three years of having the last child (after being vaccinated), you're required to take only one dose. This dose is also known as a booster shot which helps protect you and your baby.

Now, every vaccine or medicine has its pros and cons based on its efficacy and safety. Research suggests that although TT injection prevents life-threatening consequences and helps forestall premature birth or delivery, it renders our bodies prone to side effects. The next section mentions some common side effects you might encounter while taking this shot during pregnancy.

TT Injection Dose in Pregnancy

If this is your first pregnancy, your doctor will prescribe you 2 doses of tetanus toxoid -

  • The first dose will be administered in the third trimester, or around the seventh month of pregnancy.
  • The second dose of the vaccine will be administered after four weeks from the first.

World Health Organization recommends a third dose six months after taking the second dose. It provides protection against tetanus bacteria for at least five years.

If this is your second pregnancy-

  • If your second pregnancy occurs within 2 years of your first pregnancy, and you have already received 2 doses of vaccine in your first pregnancy, then you will only be administered 1 booster dose.
  • If your second pregnancy occurs after a long period, the vaccination schedule will be different.

The Tetanus Toxoid (TT) vaccine is essential for both mother and child to stay safe during pregnancy. Therefore, if you are pregnant, get this vaccine administered and protect yourself and your baby.

TT Injection During Pregnancy Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of TT injections include:

1. Pain

Pain is felt where the shot was given. This is the most common side effect while administering the TT vaccine. It occurs due to a person's mild reaction towards the injection and is inevitable. It usually fades on its own.

2. Erythema/Redness

Redness may be seen locally at the injection site with or without tenderness (pain when touched/pressed). It is not uncommon. Over-the-counter medicines for pain, such as Ibuprofen, may help in reducing this adverse effect.

3. Tiredness/Fatigue

It's common to feel tired after getting a shot. It happens because of the body's response to fight against the tetanus toxoid.

4. Swelling

Some receivers might experience swelling of their arms where they received the injection. However, this does not need any medical intervention; it might get well on its own.

5. Allergy

Itching, hives, and rashes near the injection site are some rare symptoms that might occur in people having a severe allergic reaction to the TT vaccine. These symptoms start within a few minutes or hours of receiving the vaccine.

6. Fever

It's an uncommon symptom and usually goes away on its own. However, if it lasts for more than a couple of days, you should seek medical advice right away.

7. Stomach Disturbances

Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea are another set of frequently encountered gastrointestinal disturbances that will usually subside with time.

8. Joint and Muscle Pain

Joint pain and muscle ache are fairly common side effects that can be treated with over-the-counter medications.

Also Read: Double (Dual) Marker Test: Procedure, Cost, Results, Pregnancy, More

TT Injection Cost for Pregnancy

The tetanus toxin (0.5ml) injection is approximately ₹88.56 in India.

Summing Up on Tt Injection in Pregnancy

Tetanus is a dangerous illness caused due to eubacterium tetani that are usually found in soil. Tetanus bacterium enters the body through open wounds. The disease can cause severe morbidity in the mother and increase the risk of mortality for the newborn baby.

Neonatal tetanus sometimes happens in newborns through infection of the sick point stump, particularly once the stump is cut with a non-sterile instrument. Tetanus can be prevented solely through vaccination. The tetanus vaccine contains noninfectious toxoids. Tetanus toxoids are safe throughout pregnancy and are administered in several countries to forestall tetanus.

The purpose of giving the vaccine to women of childbearing age and pregnant ladies is to shield them and newborns from Tetanus. Td and TT vaccines administered during pregnancy have not been shown to harm either the mother or baby/foetus; in fact, it has been widely successful in preventing tetanus.



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