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DTaP only? (want tetnas only)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have an unvaxed 17 month old. I can't stop worrying about Tetanas. I think it seems different because it is not contageous, because the numbers might be low because most people get vaxed, rather than on how common it COULD be.

I feel uncomfortable with the P part of the vax mostly, I guess. I don't know much. We have several book and we look online. It seems that there is a T only shot but just for much older children.

During the day I am more worried about vaxinating but at night more worried about not vaxinating. It is starting to be day and night worry about tetnas. I see no alternative other than either NOT getting or getting a vaxed with unwanted things in it. It makes me angry and scared

Any thought? Sorry fif I sound nuts, I am rushing because she is about to wake up from nap.
post #2 of 12
I had a study and I think you can find it by searching my user name and tetanus (im heading out to park now but I can get it for you when I get back) but basically it looked at about 10 years or so and only found about 15 tetanus cases in children, though most of them were unvaccinated.

I think it demonstrates the rarity of the disease in children in that they could only find these few cases in all those years; however, you do see the risk of not having the vaccine translated into higher cases in those groups.

I have heard of the TT vaccine being used in children under 7; I know some moms here have had it done. Perhaps they can chime in with their experiences with it.

If pertussis is your big concern, you could easily go for the DT only vaccine. This is used for younger children as well and would seem to solve your worries without having to be exposed to the P portion or a vaccine not approved for use in young children.
post #3 of 12
In the US there is only a Tetanus only vaccine for ages 7 and up and it contains Thimerosal. In Europe there are two Tetanus only vaccines approved for 2 months and older, they do not contain Thimerosal. One is called Tetanol Pure.
I heard that some doctors were able to obtain vials of the EU vaccine to administer it to US children. But I bet it is hard to even find a doctor willing to do this, and then, to get it. We will do the Tetanol Pure during a family visit, and then draw titers 6 months later. They offer them in some labs.
post #4 of 12
WOW. Uuuuum, that's EXACTLY my concern. Word for word. I also think about it day and night. I won't let dd walk in the grass or on a wooden deck without shoes, and that's ridiculous. A SPLINTER could give her tetanus. Yes it's rare, but it's rare because many people are vaccinated against it. There were 40-some cases last year (maybe 08) and I forget how many deaths, but no child deaths. I can't help but wonder if that's because kids are immune (most) and adults haven't gotten boosters.

It's rare. But my daughter's chance of dying from tetanus are the same as the odds would have been a hundred years ago, unlike the other diseases and the "herd immunity" that helps protect her. That scares me. There's tetanus in the soil in my back yard, and there's tetanus in the dust in my house. It just has to have the right environment to make my baby sick, and try as I might to protect her from it, I can't possibly 100%.

I don't want to freak out and wash every bump, scrape, or splinter she gets. I don't want to deny her the luxury of having the grass between her toes. I don't want to worry for weeks after an injury if tetanus is going to set in..... And I absolutely will if she's not vaxed.

I think we're going to do it. It's the only vax I'm even considering at this point.
post #5 of 12
Do worry about getting struck by lightening?

The odd of this happening to you or your children in their lifetime is 1 in 6,250

Will you ever let your child climb a tree? The odds of them falling out and dying are 1 in 3,290,000.

The odds of getting diagnosed (not dying just diagnosed) with tetanus in any given year is 1 in 7,302,000.

I was also struck by this statement by the late Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, who was a pediatrician.

Quote:
The tetanus vaccine over the decades has been progressively weakened in order to reduce the considerable reaction (fever and swelling) it used to cause. Accompanying this reduction in reactivity has been a concomitant reduction in antigenicity (the ability to confer protection). Therefore, there is a good chance that today’s tetanus vaccine is about as effective as tap water.
Anyway Tetanus is extremely rare. I also noticed in the CDC pinkbook chapter on Tetanus that the efficacy of the vaccine has never been studied, but is inferred.

In the case of a wound where Tetanus was a serious concern, one can always get the TIG.
post #6 of 12
Interesting facts, Marnica. However, you have to consider that those are the stats of a population in which 80% are vaccinated against tetanus. After 3 doses of tetanus, 97% of the population has a titer that is above the level considered to be immune. Therefore, those stats relate to a population in which many people are considered immune.

I figured the following, and am using these stats to make my decision. This is my line of thinking, and obviously is not scientific fact.

17,000 unvaccinated children in the US in any given year. 13 or so children contracted tetanus last year, zero died. To be on the safe side, I'll assume that all of the kids were unvaccinated. That's .007%, or in my small town where there are about 2,000 kids, that'd be about 1.3 kids who contracted tetanus each year, with it being at least 10 years with no deaths.

So about 1.3 cases per 2,000, which is about 3x more likely than being struck by lightning. And yes, I do worry about all those things.

Again, this is not scientific fact, but my reasoning and thinking to help me with my decision on the DTaP.

EDITED! See my next post below!
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlipMom23 View Post
Interesting facts, Marnica. However, you have to consider that those are the stats of a population in which 80% are vaccinated against tetanus. After 3 doses of tetanus, 97% of the population has a titer that is above the level considered to be immune. Therefore, those stats relate to a population in which many people are considered immune.

I figured the following, and am using these stats to make my decision. This is my line of thinking, and obviously is not scientific fact.

17,000 unvaccinated children in the US in any given year. 13 or so children contracted tetanus last year, zero died. To be on the safe side, I'll assume that all of the kids were unvaccinated. That's .007%, or in my small town where there are about 2,000 kids, that'd be about 1.3 kids who contracted tetanus each year, with it being at least 10 years with no deaths.

So about 1.3 cases per 2,000, which is about 3x more likely than being struck by lightning. And yes, I do worry about all those things.

Again, this is not scientific fact, but my reasoning and thinking to help me with my decision on the DTaP.
Can you share where you are coming up with your figures? 17,000 unvaxed kids in the US? 13 children contracted tetanus? I know there were 18 cases of tetanus in the US last year, but don't see any data for how many of them were children. I would be very interested (not being snarky at all) to see where it shows that over 70% of reported tetanus cases in the US last year were in children.
post #8 of 12
the study I was talking about looked at 8 years and found 15 cases in children, most were unvaccinated:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.or.../full/109/1/e2

in addition, vaccinated kids did have a milder course of the disease


also note that most were given TIG and it didn't work:

Quote:
Both neonates had umbilical infection, 1 after application of "healing" clay to the umbilical stump.13 Among the 13 non-neonatal cases, the source of injury was a puncture wound in 11 cases (73%) and blunt trauma in 2 cases. Eight of the puncture wounds were sustained on the foot when the child was outdoors. TIG was administered to 13 of 15 children. The median interval between the onset of symptoms and administration of TIG was 1 to 4 days (range: 7 hours to >15 days).

Tetanus was associated with severe disease and complications, particularly among unvaccinated children. Eight children (53%) required mechanical ventilation. The median length of hospitalization was 24 days (range: 1–60 days). One of the 2 children for whom TIG was refused for religious reasons had complications of a perforated colon and prolonged hospitalization (Table 1, case 12). Children who were fully vaccinated experienced milder tetanus illness than the unvaccinated children (median: 2-day compared with 25-day hospitalization, respectively). There were no deaths.
post #9 of 12
After looking again, I realize that those numbers are ALL cases from years 1998-2000. Which makes it even more incredibly rare! So that means there were 13 cases in children over a period of 3 years, and none of them died. AND, from what I've read, almost half of those kids should have been considered "immune"! Okay, now I'm totally rethinking. I'm definitely not going to vaccinate any time soon. My babe's only 14 mo., I'll wait until at least 2 yrs and consider it then.

This is where I got my numbers (Like I said, I thought it was for one year, but it's THREE years.):
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5203a1.htm
post #10 of 12
Tetanus was where I started researching. I'm allergic/reactive to the tetanus vax (to the point of my ped who last gave me one said to never get it or any tetanus toxoid containing vax again- if I insisted it should be given in the ER where they were prepared for me to go into ana shock) and my grandmother was allergic/reactive as well.

So, I started by assuming it wasn't safe to give my kids. On first glance it DOES look scary as a disease, but when I researched I found that case numbers were ALWAYS incredibly low, even back a hundred years and more when wound care was pretty crappy.

good luck with your research!

-Angela
post #11 of 12
I'll admit, that the tetanus vax is still the one and only vax that I consider. I would never, ever get the DtaP, though I have considerd the DT in the past and still think about it every now and then. We live out in the country and I for one love to go barefoot as does ds1 and I assume ds2 will as well in another year or two. I have very fond memories of running around the woods barefoot and getting tons of puncture wounds (mostly from jaggers & sticks, though occasionally the odd old fence post sticking up got me as well... most recently just a year or two ago in fact, in our freaking yard!!), and I do worry about the boys. As a result, in another year or two I could see getting ds1 the DT vax (I assume its still available - I know thats the one I got instead of teh DTP way back when!).

But, alegna's right. Tetanus is (and has always been) incredibly rare. Even 100, 200 years ago it was incredibly rare. So, for now I choose to not worry about it. Too much. Good luck!!
post #12 of 12
Thought people might find this article (written in 1996) useful. It is full of great refences one can check or follow up on for themselves.

http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/va...-overview.html
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