A case of an unvaccinated 6-year-old boy from Oregon is helping raise awareness regarding the importance of vaccines. The boy was hospitalised for two months after he contracted tetanus following an injury on a farm. He has already spent so much time in the hospital and also a lot of money. Centres for Disease Control issued a report that says that the tetanus case is the first pediatric case in the state in almost 30 years and that in 2017 the child sustained an injury to his forehead while playing outside. China’s Vaccine Scandal: Over 2.5 lakh Faulty DPT Vaccines Sold.
After the incident, the child was "cleaned and sutured at home." However, after six days, the child started suffering from mysterious symptoms like muscle spasms, jaw clenching and difficulty breathing, etc. The child was soon rushed to the emergency services where he was airlifted to a local medical centre. Although he was being given treatment, on his fifth day in the hospital, the child required a tracheal tube and to be placed on a ventilator as he experienced spasms in his diaphragm and larynx.
The child remained on a ventilator and a neuromuscular blocker for over a month and spent time “in a darkened room with earplugs and minimal stimulation” as per reports. He was also treated with metronidazole and other antibiotics through an IV to help regulate blood pressure and heart rate and fight off a severe fever. After spending 57 days in the hospital, the child was moved to a rehabilitation centre where he regained the ability to walk, run and bike within 17 days, as per the CDC reports.
Doctors gave the child diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) during his eight-weeks of treatment, which the CDC estimated to cost over $800,000 and this cost doesn't include air travel and other expenses. The CDC report says tetanus vaccines have contributed to a "95 percent decline in the number of tetanus cases and a 99 percent decrease in the number of tetanus-related deaths since the 1940s." While talking about the vaccines, the CDC also recommends that children are given five doses of the DTaP vaccine at two, four and six months of age, at 15–18 months of age and at four to six years of age.