the tetanus thing

Avatar for catherina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
the tetanus thing
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 4:58pm
Alright, I have read the "how is a vaccine going to protect me from tetanus, when the natural infection won't give me any immunity" once to often - here is a clue:

the tetanus bacteria produce a toxin that will mess with your synapses, hence the cramps and suffocation - no control over neural activity. The toxin is active in very small amounts and it will kill any living being before there is any chance of the immune system to react and generate antibodies (which usually takes 10 days). Enter the immunization that actually contains a modified/weakened tetanus toxin (called toxoid) - when you inject that into a human, the body will produce antibodies against the toxoid that will also neutralize the toxin should the vaccinee ever come in contact with the bacteria.

How do we know it works? First, each batch of tetanus vaccine is tested in animals - the animals get vaccinated, a couple of weeks later you confront them with the toxin, unvaxed animals die, vaccinated animals don't. It also works in humans. When an unvaccinated person contracts tetanus, you can take the serum from a vaccinated person - inject that into the tetanus sufferer and the donor tetanus toxoid antibodies will protect the tetanus infected person (this will save about 50% of the infected) - read up on this in the following case report (that turned my stomach) - Catherina:

Childhood tetanus in Australia: ethical issues for a should-be-

forgotten preventable disease

Paul N Goldwater, Annette J Braunack-Mayer, Richard G Power, Paul H

Henning, Mike S Gold, Terence G Donald, Jon N Jureidini and Christine

F Finlay

MJA 2003 178 (4): 175-1

Case report

Two weeks before presenting to the Women's and Children's Hospital

(WCH), Adelaide, a two-year-old child had injured one foot with a

wood splinter, which had embedded in the distal right sole proximal

to the great toe. Two days before admission, the splinter came out,

together with a small amount of pus. The next day (one day before

admission), one of the parents took the child to a general

practitioner because of muscle spasms and inability to open the

mouth. Both the parent and the GP diagnosed tetanus. The patient was

admitted to the WCH with moderately severe trismus and risus

sardonicus, but no spasms were observed initially.

The child had not received any vaccinations as the parent had

conscientious objections to this practice. Despite these objections,

the parent sanctioned the use of human tetanus immunoglobulin (TIG),

of which nearly 4000 IU were given (by slow intravenous infusion). At

the parent's request, and despite the lack of clear indications for

such treatment, a portion of the TIG was infiltrated into the foot

wound, which was then surgically debrided. In addition, a five-day

course of metronidazole was commenced.

The day after admission to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit

(hospital day 2), the patient began having frequent (every few

minutes), moderately severe spasms, which were managed with midazolam

and magnesium sulfate. Paralysis with curariform drugs and mechanical

ventilation was avoided. The patient was managed in this way in a

quiet, darkened room throughout the hospitalisation and was

discharged on sedation after 18 days.

During the admission, a recommendation was made to the parent on

several occasions that the child be given a course of tetanus toxoid,

because infection with Clostridium tetani does not necessarily confer

immunity against tetanus. Despite this advice, the parent refused to

consent, and the child was discharged unvaccinated. The decision was

based on the parent's own beliefs. The other parent's position was

not proffered.

Avatar for lucky30605
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 11:05am
Sheesh, you'd think she would have learned. Poor kid. Instead of one day of discomfort from a shot, she suffered for 18 days in the hospital and STILL needed sedation at home.

That's an UNconsciensous objection. No, it's jsut plain stupid, IMO.


Avatar for catherina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 11:30am
plus it is MAJORLY hypocritical - after all, ANTIBODIES were used to treat the child froma donor who had previously received the VACCINE (gasp, shock, horror). So it good enough to save the child (not always), but it is not ok to let the child have the vaccination.

Catherina, in Germany where it is National Immunization Week this week - DS is getting his second MMR about now

Avatar for joolsplus2
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 12:03pm
...I can't disagree with the irony of the child requiring antibodies...but, non-vaxers seem to sing the praises of getting the real disease as being more beneficial to the body than the vax, so this parent is probably figuring the vax is REALLY unecessary, now that the kid has had the disease....


9 out of 10 carseats are installed wrong.  Could yours be?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 12:22pm
I think you guys are taking entirely too much enjoyment over this case.

I would never gloat over a vaxer's tragedy if their child was vaccine-damaged. I would feel bad for them. I don't think I would sit back and say "I told you so!!!"

Could we go onto some real discussion now?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 12:52pm
Well I haven't had my 2 cents yet, so bear with me.

I can't speak for everyone, but I am not gloating. I may have thought "How unecessary" but also, "Those poor parents" UNTIL I read the part about refusing the vaccine before leaving the hospital. I am not gloating, but I am thinking that this was THE most UNinformed choice I've read about. And in all honesty, having watched their child suffer the reactions of that particular VPD, I DO question there parenting ability and fitness. Having tetanus does NOT confer immunity in future exposures to the toxin.

HAving said all that, I can attest to the fact I did not particularly ENJOY making the point. Rather felt it was a shame that it had to be made in the first place.

Avatar for lucky30605
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 12:57pm
I think it's just the fact that she was told once how important this vax was, watched her child suffer, saw her child recuperate because of the vax and STILL refused the vax.

I probably should not call her stupid, but the word ignorant comes to mind. It's like that old proverb or story when the guy wouldn't take the life preserver cause he said God would save him from drowning in the sea. Then when he died God said, "Hey, I threw you a life preserver. Why didn't you take it?"

Another word comes to mind......duuuhhh.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 2:59pm

I could NOT have said it better myself. You know when Lindsey got sick there was NO WAY she was going to miss her vax JUST because she got Pertussis. Now mind you I have heard some say that she would have been immune to it, and then there are those that say she would not have been. SO on that note, the thought of NOT knowing if she could or could not get it again....I said GIVE HER THE VAX!!! I am wondering though if these parents REALLY knew their child was given something that was from a vaccinated person or did they just think it was a medication? Anyway, I would have made sure she had the shot of course that is just me.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 4:54am
Look at the terms you people use:




How do you know this is the case? You only know what the article tells you which is not very much. We only know that the parent had "conscientious objections" Perhaps his/her decision WAS based on research and weighing the risks of vaccination against vaccine reaction. Who knows? We'll never know.

These type of articles are sensationalist and serve only to allow the people who don't question society, (for example, those who do not question the safety or necessity of vaccination,) an opportunity to feel morally superior. (Think about it, when was the last time you read a mainstream newspaper article about a vaccine-damaged child that the parents were portrayed as ignorant or uninformed about the risks of vaccination. Do you feel sorry for them or superior to them?)

The point is that every parent makes decisions about parenting - sometimes it works out sometimes not.

If that happened to me, which it could I suppose because I have made the decision not to vax until vaccines are toxin-free, I too would say no thank you to vaccination before going home. I would need some time to think things over at the very least.

As for the treatment coming from a vaccinated person... I would of course be grateful but it wouldn't make me feel any obligation to run out the door and pay my debt to society through vaccinating myself or my children.

However, if tomorrow vaccines suddenly became toxin-free (free of formaldehyde, aluminum, propane derivatives and other crap) I would be happy to line up with everyone else.

Not all non-vaxers are ignorant, stupid, and uninformed. I would guess that quite the opposite is true.

Avatar for catherina
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 6:51am
I did not use any of those terms and I do not appreciate being addressed as "you people".

I was simply supplying information on why the vaccine works while the natural infection cannot.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 7:20am
No one said all non-vaxers were stupid, ignorant or uniformed. And since you asked:

<<(Think about it, when was the last time you read a mainstream newspaper article about a vaccine-damaged child that the parents were portrayed as ignorant or uninformed about the risks of vaccination. Do you feel sorry for them or superior to them?)>>

If we hadn't switched formats, I could find the links to a few where anti-vaxers called me MUCH worse than that for having vaccinated my oldest son Nicholas (who suffered severe brain damage) and deciding to vaccinate my younger children. Anyone here is enititled to their opinion. I will stand by mine when I say that those parents were uninformed when they refused the tetanus vaccine after watching their child suffer tetanus. They may have had all the best of intentions when they refused to vaccinate before this incident, but after watching that child suffer, I may even add unnecessarily cruel to the list of adjectives I apply.