Tetanus – The Disease and the Vaccine
by Ingri Cassel
Frequently I am asked if there are any “necessary” vaccines, as though vaccines have somehow been proven to actually prevent a disease. The most common vaccine that most people consider an essential part of trauma care is the tetanus shot. Since the tetanus vaccine happens to be the most nonsensical vaccine even if you do buy into the vaccine paradigm, I decided to devote some time into explaining exactly what tetanus is and why the shot is not only unnecessary but has been the root cause of chronic ailments and disability in a growing number of recipients.
What is tetanus?
Tetanus is a non-contagious disease caused by a bacterium - Clostridium tetani. The dormant spores live in soil, dust and manure entering the body through cuts or puncture wounds. The spores can only multiply in an anaerobic (oxygen deprived) environment so cleaning a wound thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is prudent. The incubation period, from the time of the injury until the first symptoms appear, ranges from a couple of days to three weeks. Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, manifests when the tetanus bacteria proliferate in the wound producing a potent neurotoxin (tetanospasmin) that attacks the nerves in control of muscles. Initial symptoms of muscle stiffness and spasms typically affect the jaw and neck before affecting the entire body. High fever, convulsions, difficulty swallowing, chills and extreme pain eventually follow as the disease progresses.
Death from tetanus is due to spasm of the vocal cords and spasm of the respiratory muscles, leading to respiratory failure. Although it is commonly believed that tetanus is 100 percent fatal, allopathic medicine tells us only 30 percent of cases are fatal, usually in the very young or elderly. However more recent statistics reveal that the current case fatality rate is about 10 percent. Recovery can take months but is usually complete, unless unforeseen complications occur.
Natural treatment and prevention
Successful naturopathic treatments involve hyperbaric oxygen therapy, high doses of quality enzymes, and liver and colon cleansing.
A local acupuncturist told us of her experience having tetanus. She was in her mid-forties and had cut her foot on a heating vent in the floor. Keep in mind that this wound was deprived of oxygen since she likely wore shoes and socks on a daily basis. She told us that she was quite ill for about two months. She recovered completely by detoxifying her body through colon cleansing, modified fasting and taking high quality enzymes.
In order to avoid ever contracting tetanus, it is best to soak any puncture wound in an epsom salt bath for at least 20 min. before applying hydrogen peroxide followed by cayenne pepper (a powerful disinfectant and styptic) prior to bandaging the wound.
History of tetanus
Tetanus incidence and mortality declined by more than 99 percent prior to the development of the tetanus vaccine in the 1940s. This decline is cited from medical sources in the book Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? by Neil Z. Miller:
“During the mid-1800s, there were 205 cases of tetanus per 100,000 wounds among U.S. military personnel. By the early 1900s, this rate had declined to 16 cases per 100,000 wounds--a 92 percent reduction. During the mid-1940s, the incidence of tetanus dropped even further to .44 cases per 100,000 wounds. Some researchers attribute this decline to an increased attention to wound hygiene.”
Post tetanus vaccine history
It is clear that knowledge of sanitation and wound hygiene are the main factors decreasing both the incidence and death rate of tetanus. While the tetanus vaccine was allegedly developed to prevent tetanus, there is no proof this vaccine has ever prevented a single case of tetanus. Tetanus is a problem of wound hygiene; not vaccination status.
Tetanus has not been eliminated in this country and is reported to be most prevalent in nursing homes. It is in these places that bedridden patients develop decubitus ulcers or bedsores that are not properly cared for. The tetanus spore thrives in an open wound that has gotten dirty and is deprived of oxygen. There is nothing about developing tetanus and recovering that can impart immunity to this disease. If a person is careless about wound hygiene s/he may get it again and again regardless of his/her vaccination status.
Official statistics from various countries reveal that the vaccine does not protect one from contracting tetanus. The Robert Koch Institute in Germany admits that 66 percent of people who get tetanus have been fully vaccinated. The rate in Switzerland was 50 percent fully vaccinated who contracted tetanus.
The March 2003 edition of the New Zealand Doctor newsletter cited the following:
“Elevated Antitoxin Titers in a Man with Generalized Tetanus” ...This report describes severe, generalized tetanus in a 29-year old man who had received a primary series as a child and two booster injections. Serum obtained before administration of tetanus immune globulin showed antibody titers to tetanus greater than 100 times the level considered protective. ~Journal of Family Practice, Volume 44, No. 3, March, 1997, pp. 299 – 303.
Comment: The person had a history of amphetamine abuse...and although some drugs such as strychnine which is commonly used in street drugs as a “cutting” agent, and others such as haloperidol, piperazines and some antidepressants can cause muscles spasms reminiscent of tetanus, these drugs can be identified in the urine.
I have personally known only one person who had tetanus. She was 26, had also had a primary schedule and more than one booster, though she didn’t know how many. She was an alcoholic, smoked like a train and lived on trash-food.
In addition, in Russia in the last diphtheria epidemic, most of the deaths were in immunized homeless alcoholics. Says something, don’t you think....
The newsletter continues with the following citation regarding a weakened immune response due to high tetanus antibody levels.
Quote: “As a reaction to the overdose the mean titer as measured one year later showed a sharp decrease compared to the level in controls. This can be explained by the already known fact that repeated exposure to an antigen, or an overdose of antigen, will not continually enhance the immune response and may lead to inhibition or tolerance at either T or B cell level....after booster immunization there is an increase in the number or activity of suppressor T lymphocytes as well as a decrease in activity of B lymphocytes, associated with a decline in the synthesis of anti-tetanus toxoid antibodies at different stages following booster immunization. Moreover, the magnitude and duration of a humoral immune response to a specific antigen can be profoundly influenced by circulating antibody directed against the antigen. The excess of antigen may increase the number of B cells. In addition a possible feedback effect stimulated by the high level of toxoid antibodies may suppress the production of more antibodies at a later date.” ~Scand J Infect Dis, 15:303-306, 1983, “Overdose of Booster Tetanus Toxoid Given in Error: Clinical study.”
Other studies have shown that patients receiving a tetanus vaccine had T-cell levels that were the equivalent of AIDS patients two weeks after the shot. A friend recently told me of two adults in her life who had their spleens removed one month to six weeks after receiving a tetanus vaccine.
What is a tetanus shot?
Many people believe that you can get a single dose “tetanus-only” shot. The only tetanus vaccine available in the U.S. contains both diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid. Following are the ingredients and description of manufacturing for Sanofi Pasteur’s DT (Diphtheria/Tetanus) pediatric vaccine taken straight out of the package insert:
Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids Adsorbed USP (For Pediatric Use) (DT), for intramuscular use, is a sterile suspension of alum-precipitated (aluminum potassium sulfate) toxoid in an isotonic sodium chloride solution. The vaccine, after shaking, is a turbid liquid, whitish-gray in color.
Corynebacterium diphtheriae cultures are grown in a modified Mueller and Miller medium.1 Clostridium tetani cultures are grown in a peptone-based medium containing bovine extract. The meat used in this medium is US sourced. Both toxins are detoxified with formaldehyde. The detoxified materials are then separately purified by serial ammonium sulfate fractionation and diafiltration. The 1 dose vial of vaccine is formulated without preservatives but contains a trace amount of thimerosal (a mercury [Hg] containing compound) from the manufacturing process (≥ 0.3 µg Hg/0.5 mL dose).
Each 0.5 mL dose is formulated to contain 6.7 Lf of diphtheria toxoid, 5 Lf of tetanus toxoid, and not more than 0.17 mg of aluminum. The residual formaldehyde content, by assay, is less than 0.02%. Both toxoids induce at least 2 units of antitoxin per mL in the guinea pig potency test. [end quote]
So why is the only tetanus vaccine available mixed with diphtheria toxoid? Good question. Similar to tetanus, the complications from diphtheria are caused by a toxin released from the infecting bacteria. The severity of the disease is related to the amount of toxin that is absorbed systemically from the infection site. Diphtheria is an infection caused by the “Corynebacterium diphtheriae” bacteria. Early symptoms include sore throat, malaise, and a low-grade fever. The most frequent complications caused by the toxin include cardiac arrhythmias and nerve paralysis involving the palate, eyes, limbs and diaphragm. Although cutaneous diphtheria infections occur, the most common form of the infection occurs in the tonsils and pharynx. If not treated early, a grayish-green membrane develops in the back of the throat which may lead to respiratory obstruction. However, even with extensive complications from the disease, complete recovery usually occurs within five weeks.
Dr. Robert Mendelsohn noted the following known severe reactions to the tetanus toxoid portion of the triple antigen DPT vaccine, DT and dT vaccines as listed in Connaught Laboratories package insert:
“An article in the Archives of Neurology (1972) described brachial plexus neuropathy (which can lead to paralysis of the arm) from tetanus toxoid. Four patients who received only tetanus toxoid noticed the onset of limb weak ness from six to 21 days after the inoculation. A 1966 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports the first case of “Peripheral Neuropathy following Tetanus Toxoid Administration.” A 23-year- old white medical student received an injection of tetanus toxoid into his right upper arm after an abrasion of the right knee while playing tennis. Several hours later, he developed a wrist drop of his right hand. He later suffered from complete motor and sensory paralysis over the distribution of the right radial nerve (one of the major nerves innervating the arm and hand) One month later, no residual motor or sensory deficit could be found.
“Reference is made to an article in the Journal of Neurology, 1977, entitled “Unusual Neurological Complication following Tetanus Toxoid Administration.” The author reports a 36-year-old female who received tetanus toxoid in her left upper arm following a wound to her finger. Five days later, she noticed a weakness first of the right, and then of the left and later of both legs. She complained of dizziness, instability, lethargy, chest discomfort, difficulty in swallowing, and inarticulate speech. Staggered when she walked, and she could take only a few steps. Her EEG showed some abnormalities. After a month, she was discharged without neurologic disturbance, but she continued to feel weak and anxious. Examinations during the next 11 months showed continued emotional instability and some paresthesias (numbness and tingling) in the extremities. The medical diagnosis was “a rapidly progressing neuropathy with involvement of cranial nerves, myelopathy, and encephalopathy.”
”The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 1973, carried an article entitled “Hypersensitivity to Tetanus Toxoid,” and in a volume entitled “Proceedings of the II International Conference on Tetanus” (published by Hans Huber, Bern, Switzerland, 1967), an article appeared entitled “Clinical Reactions to Tetanus Toxoid.”
“ A 44-year-old article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (1940) was entitled “Allergy Induced by Immunization with Tetanus Toxoid.” That same year, an article in the British Medical Journal reported on “Anaphylaxis (a form of shock) following Administration of Tetanus Toxoid.” In 1969, a German medical journal reported a case of paralysis of the recurrent laryngeal nerve (the nerve to the voicebox) after a booster injection of tetanus toxoid. The patient developed hoarseness and was unable to speak loudly, but the nerve paralysis subsided completely after approximately two months.”
A quick search on MedAlerts.org website ? an easy search of the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System’s (VAERS) database ? had 2321 adverse reactions posted for pediatric DT vaccine and 1154 adverse reactions for the adult TD (dT) - for all manufacturers. What was telling is that all ages are listed as having reactions to these two vaccines with no differentiation, as though the prescribing doctor was unfamiliar with the difference between the adult dT and the pediatric DT.
The package inserts reveal that the DT (pediatric) form contains 3.3 times more diphtheria toxoid than the dT (adult) form. Medical wisdom claims it is contraindicated to give the pediatric DT vaccine to adults or children over the age of 7 years because of the increased likelihood of side effects. Babies are given 4 doses of the DT form (as DTP or DTaP) during the first 12 months of life. As a result, infants receive 13 times the dose of diphtheria toxin from the DT form than they would receive if the dT form was used. The manufacturers, the CDC and the medical community have never adequately explained exactly why the higher concentration is “safe” for small children and yet dangerous for older children and adults.
Throughout the ten years of being the director of Vaccination Liberation, I have come across three adults who became extremely sick and one is still disabled as a direct result of being administered a tetanus vaccine in a hospital ER. One of them is a founder of Vaccination Liberation who was in shock at the time and didn’t realize that the tetanus shot administered was indeed an extremely dangerous vaccine. He related to us that he thought he was going to die and how a local naturopath saved his life, putting him on a strict detoxification regimen with Standard Process supplements.
I can only pray that the information provided here on tetanus and the dangers of the shot will empower readers to refuse this vaccine and all the other disease-laden shots offered by doctors today.