A Shot in the Dark: On the Business of Vaccines

Tetanus bacilli (clostrium tetani)
Tetanus bacilli (clostrium tetani) (Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

There is much controversy around vaccines. A weighty social contingent claims that they are beneficial and necessary. While that may be true to a degree, a recent experience with tetanus cocktail that included diphtheria and polio is making me question the mainstream attitudes. About two weeks ago a doctor gave me a shot of the vaccine as standard procedure. I didn’t question, but accepted it. She injected it into my back just beneath the shoulder blade. The area remained tender for days, but I assumed it was just part of the process. Then I felt progressively worse, but again didn’t put the pieces together. As the week wore on my hands, forearms, and shoulders became increasingly tense. I massaged, stretched, rubbed, did yoga – all of the usual things that keep my writer’s hands and body in good shape every day. But nothing helped.

After ten days I was in such pain that I cried. Holding a pen to write became a painful challenge. My hands were curled up in tension; my forearms burned. Then I did some research on tetanus, the disease. Tetanus contracts the muscles and affects the nerves. Wikipedia describes it as “a medical condition characterized by a prolonged contraction of skeletal muscle fibers. The primary symptoms are caused by tetanospasmin, a neurotoxin…” It affects the nerves and cause tightening and pain.

I was being poisoned and my body had the disease. It is one of the more painful physical experiences I’ve known. To clear it I did a detox with renowned energy healer, Deena Spear, a Barbara Brennan Healing School graduate and author of “Ears of the Angels.” In about an hour most of the pain was gone and it hasn’t returned.

As I read up on vaccines and on the controversy surrounding them I read that tetanus requires pretty dirty and infected conditions to grow in a body. Much of the fear of tetanus grew particularly during the civil war when disinfecting and treating wounds properly posed big challenges. The rusty nail legend that I grew up with, where a scratch from a nail can send you into convulsive, lock-jawed fits, seems pretty far from the reality.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control reveals their data on tetanus. From 2001 to 2008  233 cases of tetanus were reported. “Average annual incidence during that period was 0.10 per 1 million population overall and 0.23 among persons aged ≥65 years,” according to the CDC. I wonder if one has a bigger chance of winning the New York State lottery?  The CDC continues, “Incidence among Hispanics was nearly twice that among non-Hispanics, a difference accounted for by 16 cases among Hispanic injection drug users (IDUs). Among the 92 patients for whom tetanus toxoid-containing (TT) vaccination status was available, 37 (40.2%) had received no doses of TT vaccine. Thirty (15.4%) of 195 patients had diabetes, and 27 (15.3%) of 176 were IDUs (injection drug users). For 51 patients with an acute wound and a surveillance report complete enough to evaluate tetanus prophylaxis, 49 (96.1%) had not received appropriate prophylaxis [wound care]. Tetanus remains a rare but life-threatening disease in the United States.”

I don’t know about the other diseases that my vaccine included, but I do know that what was injected into my body felt incredibly debilitating and painful. And yet similar injections are given to children everyday. I am certainly no medical expert and each individual must make their own choices about what to do with vaccinations. My personal experience and research reveal that it’s time to reflect on the societal norms and look deeper at their necessity. Many of the unsanitary conditions that society faced previously are virtually non-existent now. Perhaps it’s time to question the wisdom of indiscriminately accepting vaccines as the norm and begin to explore their use in a more discerning way — and examine their contents with more rigor. I’m happy to report that through the energy healing detox, I am back to the keyboard and the pain and muscle contractions have ceased. It’s up to you to explore your own experiences and recognize what is right for you. But be sure to do the research and think/feel for yourself.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery” (Llewellyn Worldwide, May 2013). A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe. More at http://www.awakeintheworld.com and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/DebraMoffittAwakeintheWorld



  1. So many comments I want to make! As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I am on the front lines of this whole vaccine debate. I don’t have time to get into it all here, so let’s start with this: I have never, ever, ever, in my whole life or medical career heard of ANY vaccine that is given “into the back just beneath the shoulder blade”. Ever. If a vaccine is not administered properly into the muscle or subcutaneous tissue (depending on the vaccine), you can have major complications with local inflammation and the absorption/mechanism of action of the vaccine. Complications can arrise from vaccines, as nothing is perfect, and as your immune system processes the antigen, which different people process differently, have different immune systems, and have different predisposing conditions. What jumps out to me regarding your situation is possibly related to impropper administration. Very strange.

  2. Hi Cori, I feel like there was more to it than just the place she gave it to me. It’s actually not uncommon to do that in France (which is where I was when it happened). It felt like much more of a reaction to the contents. My muscles were so tight that I could not relax them — just like the tetanus disease. I don’t know how to explain it, but that was my experience.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s