The Media on Tetanus: Teaching or Scaring? - Modern Alternative Mama

The Media on Tetanus: Teaching or Scaring?

admin July 24, 2013


By Jessica, Contributing Writer

A recent story circulated fb about a young boy almost dying from tetanus. The essence of the article was to scare parents into vaccinating their children.  Captured perfectly by the title: Parents’ fear of vaccinations nearly killed their son.

When the media ran this story, it could have done two things: Teach the viewer or scare the viewer. This article did not teach. This article was just another typical fear mongering, scare tactic “get your vaccines or else” type of article where the reader walks away learning nothing, other than what is always taught: “Get your vaccines or else.”

Portrayed best by a quote from the parents in the article : “As soon as they (the doctors) said it was tetanus my other two kids were vaccinated the very next day, against all childhood diseases.”

Really?!? Not all childhood diseases are created equal. And not all vaccines are created equal.

For me personally, I want to read an article and learn something. That’s why I wrote a follow up post to this tetanus article, called “The Truth About Tetanus.” You can read it  (HERE).

Knowing that the tetanus vaccine does not provide immunity (prior to puncture wound) and knowing that the vaccine does nothing to “heal” or “treat” tetanus (after puncture wound). It seems incredible that the media could run a story titled: Parents’ fear of vaccinations nearly killed their son knowing that the tetanus vaccine plays little to no role in the prevention or treatment of tetanus.

It is so important that we understand vaccines and the diseases that vaccines are promoted to “protect” against.


DTaP is a 3-in-shot: Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis. The adult version is called Tdap. Formerly known as DTP (DTP was removed from schedule in 1997 for safety concerns and replaced with DTaP).  You can read more about that (HERE).

D = Diphtheria
T =Tetanus
P= Pertussis
a = the new acellular form of pertussis. Replaced whole cell pertussis.

In layman’s terms, this vaccine is most commonly referred to as the “whooping cough” vaccine, I’m not sure if most people know it also contains Diphtheria and Tetanus.

However, when a child goes to the hospital for a puncture wound (not whooping cough), they are also given DTaP. The medical field then refers to it also as the “tetanus vaccine.” I’m not sure if most people know it also contains diphtheria and pertussis. It’s still the same 3 in 1 vaccine. And whether or not little Johnny just received this vaccine at his 12 month shots, if he steps on a rusty nail a week later, he’s going to be given another vaccine. Just like that. So really, this vaccine is promoted for both whooping cough and tetanus.

What about the diphtheria component of this vaccine? This disease is rarely discussed. Dr. Mendelsohn (world renowned pediatrician), in his book “How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor” sums up diphtheria quite perfectly, when he says: “Today your child has about as much chance of contracting diphtheria as he does being bitten by a cobra.”

So it’s the whooping cough vaccine, the tetanus vaccine, and the diphtheria vaccine. 3-in-1. This vaccine is now pushed on pregnant women, the elderly, and any child in California entering the 7th grade is now required to have 7 boosters of this vaccine. Unless of course they are admitted to the hospital for a puncture wound, they by all means they need another one.

When you break down each disease in this 3 in 1 shot, it’s almost incredible that we have caused such panic and fear.  Diphtheria was a disease of poverty, poor sanitation and water supply, yet is still administered in this 3 in 1 shot. The pertussis vaccine has a poor history in terms of safety and effectiveness.  Please read my article titled “The Whooping Cough has Me at a Loss for Words” and “Pertussis, the Outbreaks that Cry Wolf“. Because of this vaccines ineffectiveness, don’t be surprised when a “new” whooping cough vaccine hits the market soon. As for the tetanus component of the vaccine, the effectiveness is grossly misused. Especially when it is administered AFTER puncture wound. Again, please read “The Truth About Tetanus”.

My advise when reading articles that are posted on Facebook titled: “Parents’ fear of vaccinations nearly killed their son” is to choose which articles you read wisely. You will either walk away having learned something or walk away fearful….

What was your reaction to the article in question?

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  1. I love your reaction. As a mother of three boys I have researched this topic everytime one of my 4 (including my hubby) gets a wound. There is so much fallacy on tetanus out there, not only is the DTP super harmful, and does nothing at best for someone even if they just contracted tetanus, but the actual contraction of tetanus is all here say! Tetanus is a bacteria found in farm animal especially pig poo. NOT IN RUST! rust has nothing to do with it except that back in the day when most of rural america lived on a farm, it was their way of telling if a nail was straight out of the box or likely found on the ground next to some animal poo, thus if it was rusty it was more likely to be contaminated by poo. ANYWAYS. my family does LEDUM when we get a wound, and we are all still alive and thriving! But it is amazing the reaction we get in the ER… now we just say we have been treated for tetanus and don’t need the booster shot and they seem to lay off.


  2. Thank you for posting this! Because we live on a farm, tetanus was the one vaccine that I was considering for my child – we routinely vaccinate our animals against it (again, part of a combo-vaccine), so it made sense to me to have my child vaccinated against it. I’m re-considering that now! Do you have any suggestions for great resources I can read on vaccines and reasons for and against vaccinating? Currently my husband and I do not plan to get the routine vaccines for our baby (expected in mid-December), but realize that it is going to be an uphill battle…


  3. We use nascent iodine for puncture wounds. My kids have all had serious and nasty deep cuts and we didn’t let them re-vaccinate any of them. We were vaxers back in the day but very select. Knowing what I know today, I wouldn’t vax at all and none of my children want their own kids done either. Funny that once you have an autistic family member, you do your research. Yep, he was perfectly healthy and on schedule until his very last set at 18 months when he started regressing rapidly within the week following.

    They have a Vaccine Compensation Act for a reason but sadly the chances of receiving anything is next to none.


  4. Tetanus is real and it is always possible to get. It’s in the manure of many mammals, especially cows and horses, but also dogs, humans, and gerbils. It can survive for decades in the soil. When the dirt dries up, the wind can carry it everywhere. You can get it from a puncture wound or from something as minor as a splinter or a prick from a rose thorn, if manure were used in the fertilizer. It still often kills, even with modern hospital treatment, with 10-50% mortality. It was never common, but there were over a thousand cases a year in the US in the 1920s, about half of them fatal. My grandfather was a doctor in the country of Reserve, a small town in Louisiana. My father remembered a man brought in to him with tetanus, and remembers him dying of it in great pain. We don’t have many cases of it now because nearly everyone has gotten many tetanus shots, and the protection usually lasts for at least forty years.

    The vaccine is nearly always effective. It doesn’t prevent the infection itself, but fights the toxin the tetanus bacteria produce, preventing the terrible symptoms of tetanus. This is the one vaccine series I think all parents should seriously consider giving to their children after the age of two years old.


  5. Love this, but hate you have to sign in and then ask for an invitation to read the articles linked here.


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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