Tetanus and other diseases prevented by vaccines are uncommon in floods and other disasters. Calls for mass vaccination in flood situations can pull needed resources away from cleanup and rescue efforts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, exposure to flood waters does not increase the risk of tetanus.
While it is always a good idea to make sure immunizations are up to date, there are no special recommendations for tetanus immunizations during flood situations and documentation of vaccination should not be a pre-requisite for flood work.
Adults: need a tetanus booster shot every 10 years
Children: need a basic series of 4 shots between 2 months and 18 months of age, and booster shoots at 4 to 6 years of age and 11 to 12 years of age
To avoid injury and prevent infection during flood cleanup, follow these steps: