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Tetanus vaccination -- help!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
(I have cross-filed this in the vaccination forum.) I was wondering if anyone could solve a vaccination mystery for me.

DH and I have decided that we are going to give our DD (19 months) the tetanus vaccination (and only the tetanus vaccination). We only want the tetanus vaccination, not the diphtheria or pertussis vaccinations. I had heard that this was available, but I am starting to think that this is akin to the Holy Grail. My midwife told us that the tetanus shot exists by itself and we can order it from the pharmacy and bring it to the clinic for injection. The pharmacy tells me that it can order it (for over $400) but I am not sure that this is actually the regular tetanus shot as opposed to a booster. Our pediatrician tells us that he is more than willing to order the tetanus shot for us (wonderful man!) but that it does not exist by itself. In fact, when we were leaving the doctor’s office, our pediatrician was researching the issue by looking in the “red book,” which is apparently the gospel when it comes to medications, etc.

Can somebody help me? Does the tetanus vaccination exist by itself? Is this the same as the tetanus booster? (I did not think so, but I’m starting to think I’m wrong.) If it does exist, where can I/the pediatrician/pharmacist/whoever order it from? Oh, and in case it’s important, I live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in Minnesota.

Thanks ahead of time for your help!!!
post #2 of 17
Your daughter is not old enough to get the Td (Tetanus-diphtheria) vaccine. The closest it comes to tetanus by itself is with the diphtheria.

Out of curiosity, why, out of all the vaccines, did you guys decide to choose this one?

Visit the vaccine boards here and read up on tetanus...if something should happen (your child gets an injury that DOESN'T bleed--because tetanus can only grow where oxygen ISN'T--if it does bleed, then you should be safe) there is an immunoglobulin that can be administered. Also, tetanus is a disease that really only afflicts those with bad circulation...and, I'm assuming you have an otherwise healthy child? So, you should be ok!
post #3 of 17
Originally Posted by mrsfatty View Post
Your daughter is not old enough to get the Td (Tetanus-diphtheria) vaccine. The closest it comes to tetanus by itself is with the diphtheria.
That is my understanding also. I believe the DTaP is given up to age 7 (or 6?) exclusively:

DTaP should not be given to anyone 7 years of age or older.

DT does not contain pertussis, and is used as a substitute for DTaP for children who cannot tolerate pertussis vaccine.

Td is a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine given to adolescents and adults as a booster shot every 10 years, or after an exposure to tetanus under some circumstances. Tdap is similar to Td but also containing protection against pertussis. A single dose of Tdap is recommended for adolescents 11 or 12 years of age, or in place of one Td booster in older adolescents and adults age 19 through 64.
Here's some more info on the shot itself:


high-risk groups are:
ages 60 years and above
people of Hispanic ethnicity
older adults with diabetes
IV drug users.

the tetanus vaccine has never been tested for efficacy.
post #4 of 17
Tetanus is extremely rare, and if you are at risk and need medical attention, you can get a tetanus immune globulin, which is not a vaccine, if it is needed. The vaccine itself is not effective after the fact but many ERs push the vaccine anyway.

Many people are ill informed about tetanus and how you get it. If you are cut and you bleed, the spores cannot survive. Puncture wounds that do not bleed and bone crushing injuries are the two most likely situations that could lead to tetanus. You are not sentencing yourself to death or illness if you do not get vaccinated and get cut on a rusty nail. If you use common sense and clean the wound and it bleeds, there is no risk. The spores thrive on a lack of oxygen, and if you bleed, the wound is oxygenated. PROLIFT
post #5 of 17
I am not able to help at all.
But Tetanus was one of the few diseases that we are NOT vaccinating for.
DH is really nervous about things and though we are delaying many, I think we are only refusing a couple shots.

I am always interested in the choices parents make.
Good luck on your search though!
post #6 of 17
According to the CDC's pink book:

Tetanus toxoid is available as a single-antigen preparation, combined with diphtheria toxoid as pediatric DT or adult Td, and with both diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine as DTaP or Tdap.
They don't "recommend" the single-antigen one (TT) because they think you need to be vaxed against diptheria too, but it doesn't say that it isn't available. I checked the excipient table to see who manufactures the single-antigen preparation, but they don't list it there so I couldn't tell.

The reason why they're giving DTaP to children is because the it's got 3-5 times more of the one for diptheria than TDaP. It's not like it's going to harm a child or something like that.

It seems like whenever I've read about the TT it's been in conjunction with the ER....

And of course, as Ophelia pointed out:

Efficacy of the toxoid has never been studied in a vaccine trial. It can be inferred from protective antitoxin levels that a complete tetanus toxoid series has a clinical efficacy of virtually 100%; cases of tetanus occurring in fully immunized persons whose last dose was within the last 10 years are extremely rare.
(from the CDC Pink Book)

I can totally relate to your wish to get the TT - tbh it's the only one that we've been tempted to get, but I've struggled with the above quote.
post #7 of 17
post #8 of 17
That link is for the TIG, not the TT. The TIG is what they'd give you if you were exposed to tetanus and hadn't been vaccinated (from my understanding).
post #9 of 17
You're right pamperedmom! Sorry--I didn't notice.

Honestly, from what I remember when I intensely studied up on these vaccines, was that tetanus could only be made with diphtheria, because of how the toxoids worked out...I don't remember ever seeing a package insert for a TT...and even reading the quotation provided about the TT, it says it's combined with diphtheria...is it possible that TT USED to be used, and no longer in use (because of how dangerous it can be as TT)?

I have serious pregnant brain...so I'm sorry that I'm not much help...

We don't vaccinate...and if we did...this would be one of the last ones I'd do...if I had to put an order of importance on it. When I read up about tetanus, I realized there really wasn't something to be super scared of...and if something DID happen where tetanus could be an issue, then there was the TIG...
post #10 of 17

Please Help My 23 Month old Son Got Staples They Want To Give Him DTAP

My son cut his head open yesterday and they he has never been vaccinated. They tried to give him an adult tetnus vaccine and I refused.Now they want to give him the DTAP. I found after hours of phone calls that I can get Tetnus Toxoid Adsorbed.They are saying it would be ok for my 23 month old but the bottle says over 7.CONFUSING!!! Any Advice??
post #11 of 17
marykay, that is a tough decision and it must be scary to see that happen to your son.

You should post this in the main vaccination forum:


Did the wound bleed? It is extremely rare for kids to get tetanus especially if the wound bled. I believe even with puncture wounds it is rare.
post #12 of 17


His head bled for over 30 minutes.After reading hundreds of comments and web pages in the last 24 hours and finding out the doctors have lied(not surprising)about his odds of getting tetanus I think we are not going to give any vaccine.I have been told to use colloidal silver on the wound by several people and am going to get that as soon as my kids get up from their naps.Thanks for the input
post #13 of 17

I declined vaccinations when my child was born. I read up on them after hearing (that the preservatives can go bad) from a lady who's daughter was affected. THat doctor tried to change my mind at every well baby check up. Now that doctor has moved and i finally got a call and health connect found me a new one. She's wondering why i get to have vaccinations but my kids don't? Well i had already told her that my parents had made that decision for me. Also when i went to Africa and knew nothing about vaccines it was recomended that i get pretty much alll of them. I don't want to have to fight this fight all over again. I read up on my arguments again but in the book it does state that tetanus is the safest one out there and that of all of them it's the most recomended by those against vaccinations. I also don't feel as scared by the tetanus either...because people don't go for regular tetanus updates and you don't see or hear a whole lot (anything?) about tetanus.


I loooove to hear these discussions because i feel so isolated. IT's great that i don't have to feel alone in this.

post #14 of 17

We do vaccinate, just on a delayed schedule. I just wanted to add here that my daughter is going in for surgery (not open surgery, but with a tube and injection) and we had to get the tetanus vaccine before that happened. My doctor told me that the last child to die of tetanus in our state got it because he was unvaccinated and had surgery. She said that tetanus doesn't die unless it is heated to 400 degrees, and they don't heat surgical equipment that high. They didn't offer me tetanus alone, so we got the full shot and she did fine. No reaction at all. So if you don't vaccinate for tetanus normally, it's important to remember that surgical procedures can cause it.

post #15 of 17

My daughter CANNOT have the diptherhia nor the pertussus vaccines due to encephelitis she has suffered from the baby shots. 


She does need the single antigen tetanus as she will be exposed to farm animals and in the past, the single antigen tetanus has not produced any ill effects. 


I have contacted hospitals, clinics, travel clinics in the northwest and come up with nothing or the tetanus with diptherhia.  Why is this not available in rare cases like my adult daughter?


Please help.  Thank you

post #16 of 17

what did you ever find out about this vaccinaation - does it exist - did u find it?

post #17 of 17

Hmm, this is an old thread. I got a Td shot back in June. I had an open wound that was contaminated with rust, dirt, etc. I got it as a precaution. They had it at an urgent care clinic here in the Atlanta area. I kinda figured that the tetanus (alone) injection was hard to find, not the Td. Weird.

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