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Tetanus Shots for Texas Hurricane Harvey Flood Victims?

Flooded Suburban Texas Street from Hurricane Harvey

The calls for vaccination against tetanus in hurricane affected areas of Texas are based on the assumption that coming into contact with flood waters increases the risk of tetanus bacteria infection.

U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-Texas) has encouraged victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas to get vaccinated against tetanus, particularly people who have been wading through dirty flood water. On August 28, 2017, Rep. Sessions said on CNN“I would like to say in watching this there are a couple things as a result of my Boy Scout background: look ahead, look where people are actually going to need to make sure they have their tetanus shots.”1 

According to an NPR report, “The state (Texas) has already begun filling requests for tetanus vaccinations and is sending supplies of the vaccine to the affected areas.” The concern is that flood water could be contaminated with household and industrial chemicals, and that there might also be fecal contamination.2

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends one dose of the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine for protection against tetanus infection, and it recommends that subsequent tetanus shots be given with the Td (tetanus and diphtheria) vaccine. Tetanus vaccine is available in the United States in two other combinations: DT (diphtheria and tetanus) and DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis).3

The calls by some for vaccination against tetanus in hurricane affected areas of Texas are based on the assumption that coming into contact with flood waters increases the risk of tetanus bacteria infection. But that belief is an “old wives’ tale” says Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, who directs the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. A “myth,” said Osterholm.4

The CDC clearly states on its website: “Exposure to flood waters does not increase the risk of tetanus, and tetanus immunization campaigns are not needed.”5

The CDC also states that the “minimal interval after a previous dose of any tetanus-containing vaccine” is five years and the “recommended interval” is 10 years.6

There are serious side effects associated with tetanus containing vaccines. These include “redness, swelling and pain at the injection site; headache; fatigue, sore and swollen joints; muscle weakness; fever; chills; nausea; shock; neuropathy; convulsions; encephalopathy; paralysis; Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS); death.”3


1 Beavers O. GOP rep warns Texas residents: Start thinking about tetanus shots. The Hill Aug. 28, 2017.
2 Hsu A. Stay Safe And Get A Tetanus Shot, Texas Health Officials Urge. NPR Aug. 28, 2017.
3 Cáceres M. So What About Tetanus? The Vaccine Reaction July 18, 2017.
4 Branswell H. An ‘old wives’ tale’ drives calls for tetanus shots amid Houston flooding. STAT Aug. 29, 2017.
5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Worker Safety After a Flood. CDC.gov.
6 CDC. Recommended and Minimum Ages and Intervals Between Doses of Routinely Recommended Vaccines. CDC.gov.

27 Responses to Tetanus Shots for Texas Hurricane Harvey Flood Victims?

  1. LinhHuong Reply

    April 18, 2018 at 5:39 am

    “Exposure to flood waters does not increase the risk of tetanus, and tetanus immunization campaigns are not needed” , but I believe that tetanus containing vaccines

  2. maryanne Reply

    September 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    If the CDC also states that the “minimal interval after a previous dose of any tetanus-containing vaccine” is five years…how can children be expected to have so many DTaP shots only 2 months apart?! I’ve delayed vaccines in my child as long as I could and believe after the first (and only so far) DTaP, my child complains of a ‘bubble in her throat’ which I think is the beginnings of a milk allergy. And they want two more shots of this crap WELL under the CDC minimal interval of 5 years between any tetanus containing vaccine.

    How can such contradictory information and recommendations be out there? It’s insane.

  3. Sandra Diggs Reply

    September 3, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Stay informed people! This is a gross injustice and supreme victimization of Houston residents!

  4. J Reply

    September 2, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    Saw grocery store giving free Tetanus, I mean shots. WHY NO plain Tetanus-only? Don’t need whooping Dip!! Anyhow, it’s pretty hard to contract tetanus, as oxygen kills it.
    And how do we know the adjuvants & other unregulated industrial chemicals in the shot? WHY DID ALL DOCTORS SELL US OUT, and after they took an oath to do no harm!?!?!
    2Bricher!!! Where I live, in Victoria ,TX, 2/3+ of “docs” are foreigners, and a big selection. They’re more regulated than chemicals, but that’s not saying much!! BUT DON’T WORRY, THEY WANT TO GET RICH FROM INSURANCE.
    Repub. Repr. Sessions is up by Dallas, reDistricted from 5 to 32—well out of the flood. He largely backs his turn-coat Rep. Party—yet is hardly worse than the Dem. Party. (So MANY traitors.) Remember, the Republican In Name Only (RINO) Party always claims to be “conservative.”
    Pete has received over $1.5 Million, from “Health Professionals,” his highest KNOWN contributing group; thus, that is who he represents. However, it’s only 9% of the total $17 million, while in office—and that’s not a lot of payola, relative to a lot of CONgressjacks. (Senators get more, nearly always.)
    And folks, When it comes to who’s paying off “your” CONgressjacks, always peel your spud, on the database, at http://www.Maplight.org.

  5. wendy hartman Reply

    September 1, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I had a needle stick at work last week and had to have a blood draw to check for Hep A and B and HIV (company protocol).
    I had not had a tetanus shot for over 10 years, so they wanted to give me one.
    I agreed, but when reading the consent, I said “Oh, DTAP is the name for tetanus now?” The nurse replied, “No, its just a combination of shots.”
    I asked for tetanus only, but they could only give me tetanus + diphtheria (what are the chances of contracting that?!) Did I ask for or need the pertussis shot?
    I find it alarming that I would have received 3 immunizations when TOLD BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS that I was receiving “tetanus”.
    Be aware and self-advocate! Its your body and you HAVE TO KNOW what’s going into it.

    • Bob Reply

      September 14, 2017 at 4:53 am

      I wasn’t aware that you cannot receive a tetanus-only vaccine. Very deceptive…and harmful.

  6. Sara Reply

    September 1, 2017 at 10:36 am

    My husband never had any food or chemical allergies until after he received a DT diptheria/tetanus shot in 1982. After this, he had to give up many of his favorite foods and avoid products containing fragrance chemicals. Tetanus shots don’t work anyway. They do not prevent tetanus. Use iodine to kill germs on damage to skin. Your body needs it anyway. What protects our health is a strong immune system. NOT vaccines. Cut way back on sugar to increase the power of your immune system. Vitamin C is far better for your immune system than a vaccine. Learn to use it wisely.

  7. Dorothy Erickson Reply

    September 1, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I am increasing sad that someone like Sessions has not investigated these side effects.

    And since is the comment from the CDC, could someone please tell Sessions if they can contact through twitter or other media..
    “The CDC clearly states on its website: “Exposure to flood waters does not increase the risk of tetanus, and tetanus immunization campaigns are not needed.”

  8. T-Ann Reply

    September 1, 2017 at 8:31 am

    What about typhoid vaccines? Might these be more appropriate? I REMEMBER cases of typhoid after a significant flood in WV in the early 1970s that resulted in cases of typhoid. Never heard of tetanus occurring then, but did typhoid. Tetanus side affects are real when too many of these are given to the same person back to back. I became severely allergic to Tetanus shots, as was required after cuts from surgical instruments during patient surgery; in a period of 10 years had 3 shots, a routine one followed by 2 due to breaks in skin, one a rusty nail (reaction to this shot was very sore swollen red arm), the other after a surgical procedure when scrubbed in and knife handed off in the wrong direction caused significant wound, a repeat vaccine that my blood pressure fell to 40/0, heart rate over 200, and severe difficulty breathing about 1 hour after the vaccine. Fortunately was within reach of emergency medical care and large doses of Benadryl reversed symptoms, however had to continue Benadryl for several days every 4-8 hours to block the massive that histamine reaction. Access to good hygiene, clean water, clean food, SANITATION is TOP PRIORITY …LET THE PHARMACEUTICALS ASSIST WITH THIS IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE … have antibiotics quickly available for strep, staph ….. betadine, soaps etc available immediately. clean water wash stations…

    • Jennifer Reply

      September 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      And now they give a TDaP to EVERY pregnant woman, every pregnancy, without regard for how long it’s been since the previous shot — in direct opposition to what is stated on the CDC website. Typical.

      • kat Reply

        September 3, 2017 at 2:21 pm

        i declined mine during pregnancy. as well as hep b for my new born.

  9. TeeJae Reply

    September 1, 2017 at 8:29 am

    As Naomi Klein would say, “Disaster Capitalism at its finest.”

  10. Sally Reply

    September 1, 2017 at 7:17 am

    The Risks of Tetanus Vaccines Outweigh Any Benefit!


    September 1, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Pete Sessions, again, with his ignorant garbage. That man is a menace. Glad to see that Michael Osterholm brings some valued common sense to the table. Hopefully, it shuts up Sessions.

  12. KP Reply

    September 1, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Maybe we should get some food, water, diapers, formula, baby food, etc. to these people instead of forced vaccinations? Why scare everyone when they need help, not the usual scare tactics? Keep your vaccines and send them some food and water as fast as you can send in cases of vaccines. Come on.

  13. Gertrude Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    We have so much “industry-brainwashed” ignorance in places of authority – and they all seem to know what is good for everyone – with a mandate to back up their “folly-decisions.
    It might be a much better idea to supply all of the stressed out flood victims with an ample supply of daily vitamin C – which is still the backbone of the immune system’s response to infections and toxins. God forbid that such common sense should prevail.

  14. Marene Mayer Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Tetanus should not be the concern……..e.coli, coliform should be. Simple herbs like Echinacea/ Goldsenseal or Silver will take care of these. I hope all these people don’t fall for such nonsense.

  15. Merlene Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    I was just waiting to hear how long it was going to take before the government suggests taking the TOXINS/POISONS for the flood-victims.

  16. Glen Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    This doesn’t surprise me in the least! The media, the CDC, FDA and the medical community buy the vaccine line of BS and the real truth is hardly published and surly isn’t well publicized.

    It’s all about profits for big Pharma and w/in the medical community it’s one big incestuous relationship. I see it every day as an Emergency Room RN and more schooling currently is only reinforcing this fact.

  17. Michelle Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Though we know through various whistleblowers that some information published by the CDC is corrupted, it is alarming that a public official would implement such a mass-scale effort without, apparently, even consulting the CDC first. Thank you to the author for reporting the CDC’s published statement that Tetanus immunization is not needed in the case of exposure to flood waters.

    I couldn’t help noticing that tetanus is referred to in this report as a virus instead of a bacteria/spore. I’m sure you’ll want to correct this oversight.

    • Colorado Reply

      September 1, 2017 at 9:22 am

      When supposed strangers sing the same song in unison, it begs the question; are they collaborating, and have they been paid to make those statements?

  18. melody Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    Giving tetanus in this instance would seem silly. I believe in this instance the CDC is correct that flood water poses no additional risk. I am sure there ARE diseases that will come of flood water but not tetanus. The contaminated water causes lots of things.

  19. ellie Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Many people who are awake to the truth about the evil vaccine industry also are awake to the truth about geoengineered weather, or in the case of Houston Harvey, weaponized weather. It’s unbelievable that the same ‘predators’ want to top off the victims’ misfortune with a senseless vaccine!

    • Peggy Reply

      September 1, 2017 at 5:21 am

      A big Amen!

  20. Nina Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    BS!!! BS!!! BS!!! Session’s is a Tyrrant!!!

  21. Phyllis White Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    The vaccine companies can’t wait to prey upon these people that have had enough misfortune.

  22. Jim Reply

    August 31, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    TPTB want to contaminate every living body with foreign DNA fragments derived from aborted fetal tissue…

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