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TIG is made from blood and contains antibodies to tetanus. It provides fast protection but is not long lasting.
TIG is given when a person who has not had a primary series (at least 3 doses) of tetanus-containing vaccine gets a tetanus-prone wound.
A tetanus prone wound is any injury that has been contaminated with material likely to contain tetanus bacteria (e.g., soil, human or animal feces) or a wound that has dead tissue. Examples include cuts, punctures, burns, frostbite, and gunshot wounds.
For long lasting protection, a primary series of tetanus-containing vaccine with boosters every 10 years is needed.
People who have had a primary series of tetanus-containing vaccine may need a booster dose of vaccine after a tetanus prone wound, but usually do not need TIG.
People with a weak immune system may need TIG after a tetanus prone wound even if they have been fully immunized against tetanus.
People need one dose of TIG as soon as possible after a tetanus prone wound.
TIG provides fast protection and helps prevent tetanus disease. It is also used as a treatment in people who get tetanus disease.
TIG is one of the safest blood products available. Canadian Blood Services carefully screens donors and tests all blood collected. The blood of donors is not used if the donor has known risk factors or tests positive for an infectious diseases. TIG is treated with heat and chemicals to kill germs that might be present. The risk of getting an infection from TIG is very small.
If you have a tetanus prone wound, call Health Link at 811. If TIG is needed it will be given at your local public health office or hospital.
Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you have not had a primary series (at least 3 doses) of tetanus-containing vaccine and now have a tetanus prone wound. If TIG is needed, it should be given within 24 hours whenever possible.
Reactions to TIG are usually mild and go away in a few days. They may include:
Hives and general swelling may occur.
It is important to stay for 15 minutes after TIG is given because people can have a rare but serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). If anaphylaxis happens, you will be given medicine to treat the symptoms.
Unusual reactions can happen. Call Health Link at 811 to report any unusual reactions.
Talk to your healthcare provider before having IG if you:
You can have TIG if you have a mild illness (e.g., cold), even if you have a fever. TIG can interfere with live vaccines. You need to wait for 3 to 6 months (depending on the dose you had) after having TIG before you can have a live vaccine, including measles-containing vaccine. If you had a live vaccine less than 14 days before having TIG, ask a public health nurse if the live vaccine needs to be repeated.
What it is
Who is most at risk
How it spreads
Current as of: January 1, 2019
Author: Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.