Is the tetanus shot necessary?

Of all vaccinations, tetanus shot is the one considered by many, even non-believers in vaccines, to be important, even necessary. Is that the case?

Giving consideration to some important facts can help you make your decision. What are some tetanus shot side effects, what are tetanus symptoms and is there other prevention. Also, how easy is it to get?

tetanus shot - rusty nails

Tetanus Symptoms

Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, causes stiff muscles, especially in the neck and jaw. Other symptoms are a hard abdomen, painful spasms of the muscles and respiratory tract, which can cause breathing difficulties.

Photo courtesy of uitdragerij

Vaccine Side Effects

Reactions to getting the vaccine may include swelling, redness and pain, headache, tiredness, muscle pain, high temperature, rashes, swollen glands, joint pain, numbness and tingling, nausea and vomiting, shock, paleness, breathing difficulties, collapse, allergic reactions, lymphadenopathy (disease of the lymph nodes)and peripheral neuropathy (damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system).

How Easy Is It To Get Tetanus?

It is primarily caused by the improper cleaning of wounds. The wound would have either been bandaged up without being cleaned, or stitched using non-sterile instruments. This rarely occurs in developed countries.

Aside from improper wound care, tetanus spores would also have to be present in the wound, and these aren’t ‘everywhere’.

Most cases occur in third world countries and many of these are caused by umbilical stump infections in newborns, where the cord has been tied off in unsanitary conditions.

Interestingly, even vaccinated people can get tetanus.

Vaccine Ingredients

In addition to tetanus toxoid, the vaccine contains aluminum hydroxide and formaldehyde. Thimerosal - which is 50% mercury is in some tetanus vaccines (it is not in the shot in Canada - where I live). If the presence or absence of thimerosal is the deciding factor for your acceptance, ask your doctor for the vaccine information insert.

Natural Prevention

Good wound care is most important for prevention. Because oxygen kills the spores, let the wound air. Clean the wound well - soap and peroxide are cheap and easy to find and imperative to preventing tetanus and tetanus symptoms, as well as avoiding tetanus shot side effects.

To get the tetanus shot, or not - getting the scoop on tetanus will help you answer that for yourself.

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