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Tetanus is a disease affecting the nervous system which can cause muscle spasms, and breathing problems and can kill. It is caused when bacteria found in soil and manure get into the body through open wounds.
Diphtheria is a serious disease that usually begins with a sore throat and can quickly cause breathing problems. It can damage the heart and nervous system and, in severe cases, can kill. It is rare in the UK, however it is possible to catch it while travelling in various regions of the world.
Polio is a virus that can attack the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis of the muscles. If it affects the chest muscles or the brain, polio can kill. Polio was once common in the UK and throughout the world. It is now rare because it can be prevented with vaccination.
The 3-in-1 teenage booster is free on the NHS for all teenagers as part of the national immunisation programme.
It is routinely given at the same time as the MenACWY vaccine.
Teenagers and young adults with a tetanus prone wound (see bullets below) may be offered a dose of the 3-in-1 vaccine.
Contact a GP or visit the nearest minor injury or A&E department if you’re concerned about a wound, particularly if:
A doctor will assess the wound and decide whether treatment is needed. If not fully vaccinated for tetanus, a dose of tetanus containing vaccine may be given.
If have any questions about the ‘3-in-1 vaccine, or you are unsure about when it should be given, you can contact your GP surgery for advice.
The brand name of the 3-in-1 teenage booster vaccine given in the UK is Revaxis. It's a single injection normally given into the muscle of the upper arm.
Information for 'at-risk' groups can be found at Vaccination information.
The 3-in-1 teenage booster is a very safe vaccine.
As with all vaccines, some people may have minor side effects such as:
Sometimes a small painless lump develops, but it usually disappears in a few weeks.
Other reactions are rare. For more information on common and rare side effects, see: NHS 111 Wales - 3-in-1 teenage booster vaccine side effects (external site).
If you are concerned about symptoms call NHS 111 Wales (external site). Calls to NHS 111 Wales are free from landlines and mobile phones.
You can report suspected side effects of vaccines and medicines through the Yellow Card scheme. You can do this online at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk or by calling the Yellow Card scheme hotline on 0800 731 6789 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
If you would like to learn more about the 3-in-1 teenage booster vaccine or the diseases it protects against, a number of information resources are available to help. You can also call NHS 111 or your GP practice for advice if you have any questions.
To order copies of the leaflets, visit the Health Information Resources page.