Dozens given tetanus shots in wake of Hurricane Harvey flooding

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As some flood victims race to get shots, health experts caution it may not be necessary.

On Monday, the Meyerland Community Improvement Association organized an event where 200 tetanus shots were given away for free. It was a giveaway that drew dozens.

"We got here at 9:30 a.m. It started at 10 a.m., and we were the second people here," Houston resident Mary Anne Heckman said. "Now, it's standing room only."

"I'm overwhelmed," Meyerland Community Improvement Association Randi Cahill said. "This entire experience has overwhelmed me with how this community has come together. I'm very thankful we were able to get the services, especially the vaccination event."

Health experts recommend people get a tetanus shot every 10 years. Just because you went into flood water, FEMA said it doesn't increase your chance of tetanus.

If you had an open wound or received one while in the water, and it becomes infected, FEMA recommends you get a shot. That's exactly why some Meyerland residents went to the event.

"I have a little sore right on the edge of the fingernail and it started hurting more as the day went along," Ed Groves said. "I put Neosporin on it last night. It's still sore but not as much as [Sunday]."

If you did have an open wound, the Texas Department of State Health Services said look for tetanus symptoms, including fever, muscle spasms, and a locked jaw.

The Meyerland location isn't the only place to get a shot. Houston-area clinics ABC13 called Monday said they have it in stock, or will by the end of the week.

With insurance, the shot may not cost a thing. Without insurance, ABC13 found some clinics that charge $70 for the dose.

The Meyerland Community Improvement Association will hold another event Tuesday starting at 10:30 a.m. at 4999 W. Bellfort Avenue, Houston, TX.

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