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How can the Tetanus vaccine induce immunity, when contracting the disease naturally does not give immunity?

I'm honestly curious as to if there is a good answer to this.

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outstandingLove

Asked by outstandingLove at 4:26 PM on Sep. 3, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 20 (9,136 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Contracting the illness naturally doesn't cause immunity? That's the first I've heard that.
    HotMama330

    Answer by HotMama330 at 4:29 PM on Sep. 3, 2010

  • The vaccine is not live, as is the Bacteria that causes Tetanus.
    As per vaccineinformation.org:

    The tetanus vaccine is an inactivated toxin (poison) called a toxoid. It is made by growing the bacteria in a liquid medium and purifying and inactivating the toxin. Because it is not a live vaccine, a person's immunity tends to decline with time, which is why booster doses are recommended.
    ILovemyPaulie

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 4:33 PM on Sep. 3, 2010

  • But how does inactivating the toxin for the purpose of putting it into a vaccine inactivate the toxin from the actual tetanus infection?
    outstandingLove

    Comment by outstandingLove (original poster) at 4:37 PM on Sep. 3, 2010

  • The vaccine merely enables your body to produce anti-bodies. It neither causes immunity or cuts your risk of contracting Tetanus. The ONLY thing the vaccine does (besides pump you full of dangerous chemicals) is give your body an "early warning" and allow you to produce antibodies prior to needing them. However, these antibodies are needless and useless for the vast majority of us who will never come in contact with the illness in the first place!
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 4:44 PM on Sep. 3, 2010

  • A live bacteria causes the body to fight the infection. With the inactive vaccine, the body does not have to fight off the infection to the extreme of causing a life threatening illness to the person. The body builds up a resistance without the complications of the full blown illness. Basically you are getting a dead version of the disease through vaccination. But your body interprets it as the actual disease and builds up antibodies which are now there to fight off the actual disease if you are infected in the future. Some need boosters.

    ILovemyPaulie

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 4:48 PM on Sep. 3, 2010

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