A Vaccine that can Protect You if SHTF

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Bread knife
Sharp bread knife

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Many moons ago, before I became the Apartment Prepper, I had an early Monday morning mishap.  I was preparing breakfast for the family, getting ready for work and getting the kids rounded up for school.  Yes, I was multi-tasking, something I highly recommend against doing, but that is for another post.   The night before, I had gone to a Pampered Chef party (I got some free stuff) and I was going to try out one of my new gadgets:  a serrated bread knife.  You know where this is going:  multitasking and using a knife in a semi-darkened kitchen…  a recipe for disaster.   I’m here to tell you those knives are indeed very sharp.  Instead of slicing the bagel in half, my hand slipped and I sliced across the base of my left thumb.

My husband quickly wrapped the wound and applied pressure until the bleeding lessened somewhat.  Not wanting to take the entire family to the hospital, my husband stayed with the little ones and I drove myself with one hand to the emergency room.    The ER doc gave my thumb six stitches, and as soon as he was done sewing it up, the first thing he asked me was, “When was your last tetanus shot?”  The question took me by surprise, as this was something that I had not even considered.   I had to say I had not had one since I was a child.   He told me you need one every ten years, so needless to say, I immediately got a tetanus shot.   This time I got an immunization card to remind me when I need to get another one.

What is tetanus?  Tetanus is a serious and potentially fatal infection caused by Clostridium tetani bacteria that enters the body through cuts, deep puncture wounds, insect bites, burns or possibly any breaks in the skin.  The bacteria produces a toxin that affects the nervous system and brain, beginning with stiffness of the muscles and jaw, thus the term “lockjaw.”  The stiffness can initially lead to difficulty swallowing, spasms, leading to the more serious complications such as suffocation, heart attack, blood poisoning and death.

Clostridium tetani bacteria spores exist everywhere, especially soil or animal manure.  Treatment does exist, but the best protection is to get the vaccine.

Would I get another tetanus shot when the time comes?  Yes, I absolutely would get another one.  With times being the way they are, you never know what can happen.  What if I cut myself or get some kind of wound injury just as a disaster was occurring?   I would want to know that being protected from tetanus was one less thing to worry about.   I would also hope I could get some antibiotics if I needed it, but again that is for another discussion.

I’m not telling anyone to immediately go out and get a shot, and I am not a doctor.   I would encourage you to check your records on when was the last time you had a tetanus shot, and discuss this with your doctor.   Decide for yourself.  For me, this is one vaccine I believe it’s better to have than not.  As with all preps, better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.


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  1. tetanus shot…let’s see , my last one was in the late 70’s just before going to TMR Boy Scout Camp. Will put this on my To Do List. Thanks for the reminder !

  2. I’m not anti vaccine, but I know in my state there has NEVER been a documented case of tetnaus, yet, me and my kids have all had multiple vaccinations for it. The recommended childhood vaccines for me born in 1980 was 20, the recommended childhood vaccines for someone born in 2009 is 68. Just saying that for every vaccination there is a risk associated, and there are forigen substances put in your body including mercury and thimerosal, which are poisons, then you multiply it by 68. I now consider the pros and cons of each vaccine before I give them.

    1. That’s why I recommend to always check before deciding. Always good to weigh all the pros and cons. I am not in favor of ALL vaccines, and there are certain ones we have decided to skip, esp for the kids. This is just the one I’ve decided where the benefit outweighs the risks.

  3. I am with you Country girl. Always need to be educated and outweigh the pros and cons. It would be one thing if they did not put soo much garbage in them but it is worrisome.

  4. I refuse any shots–vaccines; however, when I fell when the ladder came apart and broke my toes and sliced the outer skin on the other foot, I didn’t know what the slice was from(it took a month to heal and they weren’t concerned???); yep–I asked for a tetanus. I hadn’t had one in years. My dad lost his sister in 1939 when he was 3 to tetanus..yeah, long ago, but still I didn’t need another worry with those broken toes.

  5. If you have a sickly”fishtank” you can order antibiotics online or from pet supply stores to treat said “fish.” Antibiotics are labeled for animal use only. Amoxicillin 250 and 500 are ones I have seen that are noteworthy. However, for the sake of all, always make sure your fish are really in need of antibiotics (do thorough homework) and give those neon tetras a full suggested course. They are rarely used in our house, but can be a lifesaver when truly needed!

    1. Hi Matt, Good to know where to get antibiotics in case the FISH ever get sick, those could really come in handy. Thanks!

  6. I am very leery of vaccines. I met a young man this past summer who was born in 1995 who contracted polio from his polio vaccine. Polio was declared eliminated in the USA in 1994.
    Also, I received the swine flu vaccine back in 1996 and got the flu from it. That is the only time in my life that I have had the flu.
    Still. I agree with you and JayJay, getting a Tetnus shot is probably a good idea.

    1. Hey Survival Gear Guru, I generally have not gone for the flu vaccine even if it’s offered free at my job. The tetanus shot is the only one I felt would be a good idea as getting cuts happen frequently enough. But again, everyone should do some research prior to making a decision. Thanks for the comment.

  7. Tetanus is a rare problem, but I would rather be prepared than not; after all, how often do you use a basin wrench? Not bloody often, but when you need it, you need it.

    A tetanus booster is a cheap prep and well worth the time and effort to obtain. You can’t get a mild case of tetanus from the shot (and yes, some people do have reactions to flu shots and the like – that’s just individual, anecdotal reaction), and it beats actually getting tetanus, which I hear is pretty nasty.

  8. Really, You won’t get tetanus from your kitchen. Maybe when you fell in the dirt in some African country with open wounds… The only one profiting from your shots is the pharmaceutical industry. The heavy chemicals effect your brain in long term!
    When you ‘worry’ about a wound leave it open in the air as much as possible and use tea tree oil around the wound. Or cover the wound with seasalt, olive oil and honey (eko, cold).
    I have seven kids, never vaccinated, and never serious ill, despite of multiple wounds.

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