Anyone Give Tetanus Only? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-30-2008, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am very concerned about tetanus, and I wonder if anyone here vaccinates for tetanus only. If so, do you vaccinate with the DTaP, the DT, or just T? And at what ages did you complete the series? I am curious to know what others who vaccinate for tetanus only have done regarding this vax.
My husband and I were talking about childhood injuries we had--and I realized if my little boy had any of these injuries (which is likely the way kids play) and was not vaccinated for tetanus it would be pretty unnerving for us. For instance--a lawn dart stuck in the leg from deciding along with your brother to throw all the darts in the air and then run away before they can hit you(!?!?), a puncture wound from a nail from hiding under a dirty shed during a game of hide and seek, road rash from bicycle falls, a finger nearly sliced off from mistankenly closing it in the old, dirty car door, puncture wounds from cat claws, etc. There are more, but these are the ones that stick out to me right now. And as silly/unusual as some of them seem, kids are curious and get themselves in some strange situations. I think my husband and I were pretty normal children and these are just a very small handful of the tetanus-risky injuries we had. We were both vaccinated as infants. Thanks for any advice. We are seriously considering a tetanus series for our little one and want to do it the safest way possible.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed is manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur. Here is the product insert:

https://www.vaccineshoppe.com/image....pe=product_pdf

Your doc probably won't get it because he has to order a minimum amount and it's not something he wants to sell. Also, it is for 7 years and up only.

I understand why you think you should be worried about Tetanus but I really encourage you to do some more research because the odds of getting Tetanus, even if every incident you listed occurred, are less than the odds of being struck by lightening. Look at the CDC's mmwr and you'll see that there are usually between 20 and 40 cases of Tetanus a year in the US. In a population of over 300 million!! What is that, like, .00001 percent of the pop? Most of those cases are in older people with poor circulation or in IV drug users.

Also consider a large percentage of the adult population does not have up to date boosters. You'd think we'd all be dropping dead of Tetanus with that kind of vax coverage!!

Really there needs to be a perfect storm of events to contract Tetanus. It needs to be in the environment first of all. Then, you'd have to get a very deep puncture wound that doesn't bleed, thus not bringing oxygen to the area, and finally the wound would have to be poorly managed/treated. If you go to the ER and you're unvaxed and they offer you the Tetanus vax but don't offer you Tetanus IMMUNOGLOBULIN, they don't believe there is a risk for Tetanus - they're just trying to scare you.

Plus, Tetanus can be treated. It is not a death sentence. Particularly in healthy kids with good circulation.

The vax: nasty stuff. I think there may be one that comes with only trace amounts of thimerosal but chances are the one the doc is going to get is the one with the full 25 mcg of Thim. Not to mention all the aluminum! Read the insert.

Although i don't vax at all, if I did, this is one I wouldn't lose sleep over at all. No way. The risk vs. benefit numbers just don't add up to me.

HTH. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:59 PM
 
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I agree with the previous poster and have nothing to add. What she said

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then an HBAC, then a VBAC!!).
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:22 AM
 
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Tetanus freaked me out too, so I really looked into it. At the time that the vax was introduced (1946/47), there were fewer than 1000 cases in the US. Most cases are in senior citizens, and mostly in rural areas. The tetanus vax has never been tested for efficacy in a drug trial. Basically, they check the level of tetanus toxoid in a person's blood and assume that they're immune based on that.
Tetanus bacteria are anaerobic, so they can't live in the presence of oxygen. You would have to get a deep puncture wound from something that was buried in dirt or feces at the time of the incident.
Rusty nails and barbed wire don't cause tetanus. I still don't let my son get near barbed wire, but that's probably for the best.
I hope this helps!

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Old 12-04-2008, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.
I have heard conflicting information, but don't have sources. I have read that tetanus can live in oxygen--it just cannot germinate in oxygen. So you can get cut with something even inside your house that has live tetanus spores on it. But they will not germinate inside your body unless the conditions are right. Anyone know anything about this?
Also, I have read that surgery and dental work can be sources of tetanus! Anyone else heard of that? I will try to find the sources for those.
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Old 12-04-2008, 03:14 PM
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We occasionally kick this vaccine around -- dd is currently completely vax-free, but once in a while we will have a tetnus-freak-out (what we call them LOL) and consider it. We haven't done it though.

I have always understood tetnus could only thrive without oxygen and if your wound bled right away, you were safe.

I haven't had a tetnus booster since I was hmmmmm 12? I assure you, I have had many minor wounds since then with no ill effects

It is something that is on my mind occasionally though. We are doing nothing for now.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Symbi View Post
Thanks.
I have heard conflicting information, but don't have sources. I have read that tetanus can live in oxygen--it just cannot germinate in oxygen. So you can get cut with something even inside your house that has live tetanus spores on it. But they will not germinate inside your body unless the conditions are right. Anyone know anything about this?
Yes, that's right. The spores can be anywhere but require an anaerobic environment to germinate.

From the CDC's Pink Book
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pin...ds/tetanus.pdf

"C. tetani is a slender, gram-positive, anaerobic rod that may
develop a terminal spore, giving it a drumstick appearance.
The organism is sensitive to heat and cannot survive in the
presence of oxygen. The spores, in contrast, are very resistant
to heat and the usual antiseptics. They can survive
autoclaving at 249.8°F (121°C) for 10–15 minutes. The
spores are also relatively resistant to phenol and other
chemical agents.

The spores are widely distributed in soil and in the intestines
and feces of horses, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats, rats, guinea
pigs, and chickens. Manure-treated soil may contain
large numbers of spores. In agricultural areas, a significant
number of human adults may harbor the organism. The
spores can also be found on skin surfaces and in contami-
nated heroin.

C. tetani usually enters the body through a wound. In the
presence of anaerobic (low oxygen) conditions, the spores
germinate. Toxins are produced and disseminated via blood
and lymphatics."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Symbi View Post
Also, I have read that surgery and dental work can be sources of tetanus! Anyone else heard of that? I will try to find the sources for those.
Sure, but the odds of that happening.....? I think you would have to have the spores on or in your body in the first place for that to happen. I think it would be unlikely to find Tetanus spores in a sterile surgery suite, a dentist's office, or on surgical instruments. The only thing I've come across is for patients with severe dental trauma or facial injuries, but not the direct result of dental work.

Anyone else have info on this?
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your posts, but I haven't gotten my question answered. Maybe no one here vaccinates for just tetanus, but if you do, I would absolutely love to hear from you. What brand have you used? Did you use DTaP, DT, or just T? How did you space the shots, etc?
Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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Not sure how old your LO is, but tetanus-only is approved for age 7 and up.

If I had real concern that any of us were exposed to tetanus, I'd request TIg (immunoglobulin). There are still additives and preservatives to consider, but as I understand it the TIg is less toxic than the vaccine.

I'm 43 and couldn't tell you the last time I had a tetanus shot. Probably pre-teen, but maybe even before that. I don't even think about it, much less worry over it. And I'm clumsy ... cuts, scrapes, punctures, and burns are a common occurrence for me. :

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Symbi View Post
Thanks everyone for your posts, but I haven't gotten my question answered. Maybe no one here vaccinates for just tetanus, but if you do, I would absolutely love to hear from you. What brand have you used? Did you use DTaP, DT, or just T? How did you space the shots, etc?
Thanks.
We do MMR, DTaP, polio and Hib but I think I can still offer some help.

These are threads on the different brands of DTaP specifically and how they differ in ingredients:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=820915

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=666708

As was said, the T only vaccine is for 7+, are you looking to wait that long? If so, the series can be completed whenever you want past then; you would not have to do more vaccines or anything if you decided to put a lot of time between them.


Everyone seems to have a different schedule for the DTaP. Personally, and this is just what I would do, I would do the DTaP and not the DT because it seems to have less ingredient issues; you can get DTaP vaccine with less aluminum content and also you have the issue of trace thimerosal in the DT if that is something that bothers you. I think some sites claim that certain brands of DTaP also have traces but it depends on brand.

But, either way- DTaP or DT- you have a lot of room on getting the series done. Since you are worried about tetanus and injuries, you can probably wait until walking without issue, and then probably even later than that since you are not going to encounter too many situations of tetanus within your home.

So, if I was worried only about tetanus, I would probably wait until 4-5 to start and then finish the series by doing the shot twice a year or whatever....something like that.

"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen  Martial arts instructor intactlact.gifhomebirth.jpgnak.gif and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Symbi View Post
Thanks everyone for your posts, but I haven't gotten my question answered. Maybe no one here vaccinates for just tetanus, but if you do, I would absolutely love to hear from you. What brand have you used? Did you use DTaP, DT, or just T? How did you space the shots, etc?
Thanks.
My ds had the 5-in-1 vaccine (DTaP/hib/polio). That was before I ever looked into vaccines. Now, I have done a lot of research and with a subsequent child I would opt for DTaP but I would likely delay until they were about 2yo. I would do DTaP mainly for the tetanus protection, but the fact it reduces symptoms for pertussis should your child catch it is also a plus for me.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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We started vaxing our DS when he was 4 yrs. and started with the T-only. When I requested this from our ped. it wasn't a problem. Most peds won't administer it this young, because it's licensed for 7 yrs. and up. But according to our ped. the T-only vaccine has the same amount of tetanus toxoid as the DTaP. Dr. Sears also notes that doctors can administer this at any age but it's just not approved for younger kids yet. (Probably because CDC wants you to follow their schedule and do DTaP.)

We didn't end up continuing with the T-only after the initial shot, and followed with the DTaP for a few reasons. For the future T-only shots, the office was always out of the supply, so we were supposed to buy our own supply, but the office wasn't very responsive and as it got later and later, we had a newborn and decided to do DTaP to help prevent spreading pertussis to the little one. We also are looking into doing international travel in the future, and know that diphtheria is still an issue in many countries.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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I must have missed that part in the book.

So, is the T vaccine basically the exact same thing as the T portion of DTaP?

While it might be the same in that way, there are differences from what I can tell from the package insert. One big one being that it seems to still contain thimerosal.

"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen  Martial arts instructor intactlact.gifhomebirth.jpgnak.gif and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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Our ped. assured us that the T vaccine our DS was given had no mercury...maybe there's more than one brand out there.
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Both inserts on the T vaccine-- the sanofi and the aventis both directly say they contain thimerosal:

https://www.vaccineshoppe.com/image....pe=product_pdf

Quote:
Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed manufactured by
Sanofi Pasteur Inc. is also supplied in a 5 mL vial, which contains the preservative thimerosal [(mercury derivative), (25 μg
mercury/dose)].

http://www.fda.gov/CBER/label/ttoxave092305LB.pdf

Quote:
Tetanus Toxoid Adsorbed manufactured by Aventis Pasteur Inc. is also supplied in a 5 mL vial, which
18 contains the preservative thimerosal [(mercury derivative), (25 μg mercury/dose)].

You can't another brand besides those (which are the same-- i believe aventis and sanofi are the same) it seems....so he/she might have been mistaken.

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Old 12-16-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm

This table also shows the amounts in all the T vaccines.

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Old 12-16-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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Then it's probably the one that's in Dr. Sears book- Sanofi with less than .3 micrograms mercury which they then filter out. He does note that a very tiny amount remains. We were told that it had no mercury, so our ped. may have been mistaken about this....
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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Yeah must be it.

In my research, I have found that aluminum seems to be a possible issue more so than the mercury preservatives.

If you find yourself more concerned about aluminum, then you might want to go for the single T vaccine because it contains less than the DTaP combos.

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Old 12-16-2008, 07:03 PM
 
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I'm always amazed at how well informed people are here!
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kmlkmama View Post
we had a newborn and decided to do DTaP to help prevent spreading pertussis to the little one.
DTaP does not prevent transmission of pertussis.

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Old 12-16-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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I don't think it is 100% either way. Some research says it can, some says it can't.

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Old 12-16-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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(spero) Do you mean that you can be a carrier without actually having pertussis? (just want to clarify what you mean) I understand that even with the DTaP both my DS and newborn could still get it, or there's a possibility of him passing it on to her. We're just trying to minimize my DS getting it. (the efficacy of the vaccine is another discussion)
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:10 PM
 
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http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=998940

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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To the OP:

We gave DD (born 1/2003) just DT starting at 1 year old after a fall where she cut her hand in a weird way. I avoided the aP part for her (long story and not what you asked) and was going to skip the D part but learned that T alone was not available for babies so we did DT. Other than quickly-discontinued Hib and Polio series, this is the only series she has had at this point.

From the research that I did, the T vaccine seemed to be one of the less risky vaccines. Additionally, I actually know a woman who became life-threateningly ill with tetanus. No one knows how she got it and it took a long time for them to accurately diagnose her because "no one gets tetanus anymore." So maybe it's all my personal sensitivity here.

We gave DS (born 12/2005) the full DTaP starting around a year old because at that time, and for him, the benefits of the full cocktail outweighed the risks of the vax. That is the only vax series that he's had at this point.

HTH
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:51 PM
 
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I am sure my sisters dd had only the tetanus shot when she was a baby...I'll have to find out for you...
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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I didn't read all the posts, but we only wanted to vax for tetanus. Our doc said that was impossible, which is only kinda true, I guess. But true for DD's age. So, we decided to go with the Dtap when she was about 18 months old. I know the chances are small of getting tetanus, but I just did not want to chance it.
I do not think we will vax for it again, though. I am confident that this amount in her system will help in case she is ever infected in the future. I will also apply proper wound care if the need arises, instead of relying on the vaccine.
She had no adverse reactions (so far....) and my pace of mind is great.
Robin

mama to Journey (1/07) Sequoia (1/07) and Camellia (7/09)
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to say thanks to all the moms for your replies on this. I'm still mulling this one over, but you have helped me begin to think this through.
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