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tetanus shots?


Forum: Choosing Not to Vaccinate

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  #1  
December 10th, 2008, 05:04 PM
mothra's Avatar Martha
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Massachusetts
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does anyone have any good info on tetanus shots? its the only one that DH and i disagree on...DH thinks we should get it once Isaac starts running around because if he gets cut on something and needs stitches, "they're gonna give it to him anyways". i got a tetanus shot last year and it hurt SO BAD, i could barely lift my arm for a few days. i can't imagine having a little guy feel like that. i'm wondering because with my DH's lifestyle (bikes, boats, mechanics and boy stuff of every kind ) its very possible that Isaac will end up in this situation some day and i want to know what to do. i remember someone on this board saying a while back that they'd think twice about getting this shot so i'm just wondering why.
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  #2  
December 10th, 2008, 05:45 PM
Bug-n-Ed's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ok, if you get a deep puncture wound and you get the shot for tetanus, it's actually not a tetanus vaccine, it's a tetanus immunoglobulin shot.

tetanus immunoglobulin - sterile solution of globulins derived from the blood plasma of a person who has been immunized for tetanus; provides short-term immunization against tetanus in cases of possible exposure to the tetanus bacillus


Tetanus can only survive in an anaerobic environment. So, it's really only deep cuts/puncture wounds that are a concern.

This is taken from wiki-pedia in regards to the association of tetanus and rust:

Tetanus is often associated with rust, especially rusty nails, but this concept is somewhat misleading. Objects that accumulate rust are often found outdoors, or in places that harbour anaerobic bacteria, but the rust itself does not cause tetanus nor does it contain more C. tetani bacteria. The rough surface of rusty metal merely provides a prime habitat for a C. tetani endospore to reside, and the nail a means to puncture skin and deliver endospore into the wound. An endospore is a non-metabolising survival structure that begins to metabolise and cause infection once in an adequate environment. Because C. tetani is an anaerobic bacterium, it and its endospores will thrive in an environment that lacks oxygen. Hence, stepping on a nail (rusty or not) may result in a tetanus infection, as the low-oxygen (anaerobic) environment of a puncture wound provides the bacteria with an ideal breeding ground.
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  #3  
December 10th, 2008, 07:36 PM
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I will do a tetanus shot when Hope is older. Its one of those illnesses that outweigh the risk of the vaccine to me. Unlike measles mumps or pertusses...tetanus is a fatal illness. Chyanne got a deep bite a few months back and got a tetanus shot.
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  #4  
December 10th, 2008, 10:13 PM
Tofu Bacon
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Quote:
if he gets cut on something and needs stitches, "they're gonna give it to him anyways[/b]
There's no need for a tetanus shot, or even a TIG, if the wound has bled because the oxygen in blood kills tetanus bacteria.

Tetanus infection is the result of improper wound care. If you sustain a wound that doesn't bleed then it needs be properly cleaned and treated as soon as humanely possible to prevent infection. Here's the thing, tetanus spore are everywhere; they are just part of the environment. Now add to that the majority of adults do not stay up to date on their tetanus boosters; with those odds, the rate of tetanus cases should be much much higher... but its not, as tetanus infection has always been rare (rarer still today, probably because of adequate wound care). Out of our population of 300 million people, we average about 30 tetanus cases per year (with 4 or 5 ending in death). That works out to be a 1 in 10,000,000 chance of having a tetanus infection. To put it in perspective, the odds of being struck by lightening twice in your lifetime is roughly 1 in 9,000,000. Some other things to consider:

-According to the CDC's Pink Book, the tetanus vaccine has never even been studied to see if it actually works; they simply assume it "works" if you generate enough antibodies following vaccination... which of course is flawed logic, as the presense of antibodies isn't the only determining factor in immunity.

-The Institute of Medicine has determined that there is a causal relationship between the tetanus vaccine and Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and also with brachial neuritis. (as stated in the tetanus vaccine package insert)

So we have a vaccine that we don't even know for sure if or how it works, and has the possibility of causing GBS... versus a disease, as horrible as it is, you have virtually no real chance of contracting. Its your call.
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  #5  
December 11th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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I agree with what Sweater Cannon said.

I came across the same research, and am not too worried about DD getting it (or updating mine for that matter....last one I had was when I was 11 or 12, so it's been 10 years).
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  #6  
December 11th, 2008, 07:40 AM
Tribeca's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I agree with Cori as well.


The chances of contacring tetnus are miniscule. Proper wound care is the best way to avoid tetnus. I came across thes statistics as well

"On average less than 5% of tetnus cases occur in individuals under the age of 20. The majority of cases occur in people over age 60."

So if you do the math that works out to about 1.5 cases per year (in peopl eunder age 20) per 300 million people. So the odds are next to nothing!

Not worth the risk of an unproven vaccine to me. That being said if I or my LO ever got a deep puncture wound that did not bleed I would probably get the TIG for us. If I were to consider getting it as a preventive measure (which I'm not but for others who may consider this) I would get the tetnus toxoid only and not the DTaP.
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  #7  
December 11th, 2008, 09:25 AM
Jewinjuwa's Avatar We walk by faith
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Thank you Cori and Marnie for being so knowledgeable on this. I love being educated on this issue.
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  #8  
December 11th, 2008, 04:59 PM
(.Y.)mom2dd(.Y.)
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I also would not give this shot to my dd or myself.

In my pro-vax days I stepped on a belt buckle and it went right into my foot. My family doctor advised against the tetanus shot despite my dad encouraging it.

Quote:
Thank you Cori and Marnie for being so knowledgeable on this. I love being educated on this issue.[/b]


I love reading your posts because it confirms the decision I made without me having to look it up again!
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