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Q: Tetanus ... What's the latest thinking? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Tetanus ... What's the latest thinking?
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 24 Nov 2002 05:59 PST
Expires: 24 Dec 2002 05:59 PST
Question ID: 113605
Last Thursday, I cut my thumb when opening a can of tuna. Lots of
blood but I was very brave (after having been undeniably stupid).

On Friday, a friend of mine suggested that I should go for a tetanus

Accordingly, I saw a nurse at my local Health Practice (I live in the

She asked 'When did I have my last tetanus jab?' and 'How many had I
had during my lifetime?' (5 seems to be the accepted maximum)

I told her '30 years' and, as far as I could recall, that was the only
one that I had ever had.

'Aha', she said, 'But how do you know?'

The more that we debated the question, the more I realised that I had
absolutely no idea what had been pumped into me when I was a kid ...
Or when I was in the Army. So, no jab. (Apparently if the wound had
been exposed to soil there would have been a higher risk and I would
then have got the jab.)

This was VERY different from my experience 30 years ago when I went to
hospital with a cut finger. In those days, a jab was mandatory and,
certainly, I was never quizzed about my lifetime history.

I now have the distinct suspicion that it is possible to overdose on
tetanus jabs.

My question is: What research has given rise to this change of
thinking? (Apparently there is a Government directive.)

I am not at all worried ... just curious.

(PS If I am unable to rate the answer, maybe it's because I've tootled
across to the other side.)
Subject: Re: Tetanus ... What's the latest thinking?
Answered By: peggy_bill-ga on 25 Nov 2002 08:31 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello probonopublico,

Health recommendations for tetanus from American medical sources all
state that immunizations should begin in infancy with the DPT series
of shots.  Adults should get boosters every 10 years.  As far as I
could tell that was the only recommendation around.

Then I found this article by Dr Mendelsohn MD. “ Tetanus vaccine”,

Dr Mendelsohn sites several references, and it is interesting reading.
 He  lists a series of reasons why getting tetanus vaccines may
actually be harmful.  The ones I thought were most compelling were the

There is evidence that frequent tetanus boosters may be associated
with immune system problems, and may in fact be a culprit in increased
auto-immune diseases.  There is no hard scientific evidence that the
booster shots are actually effective, as there doesn’t seem to have
ever been a large scale controlled experiment addressing this issue. 
Apparently, for safety reasons, the vaccines have been diluted every
year, and they may no longer be anything more than water.

These suspicions have some how made it into health practice in the UK.
 I have never heard it mentioned here in the US.

I hope this answers your question.

Keywords Used: 
tetanus vaccine

tetanus vaccine
probonopublico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Hi, Peggy_Bill


Just the information that I was hoping someone could turn up.

I tried myself ... but, of course, it's so much more rewarding when a
real pro goes to work.

Many thanks

Kindest regards


Subject: Re: Tetanus ... What's the latest thinking?
From: highroute-ga on 24 Nov 2002 17:19 PST
The tetanus vaccine is usually given to children as a series of DTaP
(diptheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccinations. After age 7, everyone
should get a booster "Td" (tetanus and diptheria) vaccination every 10
years throughout life. I just had one a few months ago. It made my arm
sore for a few days.

I'm not a medical professional, but I gather the preventive treatment
for possible exposure to tetanus is a Td booster UNLESS you last had
one maybe 5 years ago or less, in which case nothing.

The following document on the Web site of the US Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) should be helpful. It's an Adobe Acrobat
(TM) file, so you'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader (it's free)

More information about the tetanus vaccine from that site:

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