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Circular red and warm area around the booster shot.

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I got a tetanus booster shot 1 week ago. The muscle in the area hurt for a couple of days as expected, and doesn't anymore. However, yesterday I noticed a circular area around the spot where I got the shot, the size of a small fist. It does not hurt, but does feel slightly more sensitive that the skin around it. It is red and warm to the touch. This morning, exactly a week after that shot, the spot is still there. I'm wondering if this is a normal delayed reaction, or if I should be concerned and see a doctor.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.


Tetanus booster is basically inactivated toxin administered. It produces delayed hypersensitivity reaction.

It does have a side effect, like any other toxin if injected into your body. Due to the delayed hypersensitivity reaction there are a no of problems occurring like fever, redness, swelling around the injection site. But what you have developed is absolutely normal a reaction to the booster.

These toxins basically induce production of antibodies, which will protect against tetanus. You can wait for another week and see if it disappears. If it doesn't then I suggest you visit a physician.

Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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