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10 things you should know about the Tetanus jab

Health By Wesley Kipng'enoh
A doctor taking blood from a woman

Few days ago the issue on Tetanus vaccine issue was revisited stirring the conversation on its safety.

According to those against it the injection causes infertility and is a sterilisation tool.

We talked to a doctor and here are few things we were able to get about HCG hormone and why the method of testing for any sample could give a different outcome.

Here are a few things we looked at.

Was it tested?

According to Health CS: Testing done through a joint tetanus vaccine testing committee comprising the Ministry of Heath, academia and Church representatives.

Q: What and which samples could have been used when testing on Tetanus (  is it urine etc)

A:The vaccine vials. Not any body fluids

Q: What is the expected value/outcome when such tests are carried out? Therefore, what do the results mean?

A: The method used in testing was not appropriate therefore the results really could not be fully full-proof. Second, the vials that tested positive were open...those closed were negative.                      

Ideally, none should test positive.

How it works (According to WHO and Unicef)

The vaccines are safe and are procured from a pre-qualified manufacturer. This safety is assured through a three-pronged global testing system and the vaccine has reached more than 130 million women with at least two doses of TT vaccines in 52 countries."

What were the issues of concern?

Critics of the vaccine claim that it triggers a hormone (HCG) which, at high levels, poses a risk to pregnancy.

What is it with HCG?

Stands for Human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG), and is also known as beta human chorionic gonadotropin (b-HCG). This is the hormone produced during pregnancy created by placenta

Q: What other impurity when found in a sample can mimic the HCG?

A: They say the preservative used in the tetanus toxoid

Q: Is there is a single drug or injection that you can give a woman on a single occasion to permanently stop her from having babies?

A: No. None that we know of.

Why the Injection?

Tetanus vaccination campaigns target girls and women aged between 15 and 49 years given most tetanus cases in Kenya are found among new-borns

Conclusion of the testing in 2015?

The joint committee was tasked with sampling vaccine vials from contentious batches and analysing their safety. The team concluded that the sampled vaccine was safe and free of any contaminants and recommended it for use.

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