@Paul Barbara – I suggest you examine fact checking websites before recycling old rumours.
The rumour is rated ‘False’ on Snopes – Is Tetanus Vaccine Spiked with Sterilization Chemicals?
There’s a summary of the Kenyan government’s response on the BBC News – Kenya Catholic Church tetanus vaccine fears ‘unfounded’: Kenya’s government has dismissed allegations made by the country’s Catholic Church that a tetanus vaccine can cause sterility in women.
The scandal was based on an ignorant misconception that arose from a birth control trial in India, via an incidental association with tetanus (the toxin) which then became confused with the tetanus vaccine. The rumour spread via the church from there via Tanzania to Kenya, where the vaccine was tested with inappropriate equipment (inc. home pregnancy kits!). Subsequently, accredited testing facilities – including one lab nominated by the Vatican – found no traces of the hormone hCG at all. That finding has been verified multiple times. If those labs aren’t good enough for you, then “jog on”.
Here’s the full story from Africa Check: ANALYSIS: Why does an old, false claim about tetanus vaccine safety refuse to die?
How the rumour started back in ’94
The first campaigns against the tetanus vaccine were based on a misunderstanding of a scientific study in India in 1994 that tested a birth control treatment.
The study’s active ingredient was a subunit of a hormone necessary for pregnancy to happen and that is also produced in large amounts throughout pregnancy. It is called human chorionic gonadotrophin, or hCG for short. Home pregnancy tests show up positive when this hormone is present in a women’s urine.
For the Indian trial, researchers used a protein similar to the tetanus toxin as a carrier for the hCG. This would then cause the woman’s immune system to eliminate hCG to prevent pregnancy. The process was reversible, though.
An American anti-abortion organisation, claiming support from the Vatican, used this information to call for a congressional investigation into Mexico’s tetanus vaccination programme. Human Life International claimed that the tetanus vaccine being administered contained hCG which would leave women infertile.
The organisation questioned repeated vaccinations, why women were targeted and why women of childbearing age were “being treated as nothing more than uninformed, unwitting, unconsenting guinea pigs”.
But the WHO said there was “no connection” between their tetanus vaccine programmes and the Indian trial, which was “not sponsored, supported, nor executed” by them.
(Note: In Africa, the origin of tetanus vaccine skepticism appears to be a Catholic mission hospital in the southern part of Tanzania. The hospital’s medical director read about the tetanus vaccine rumours and shared it at a regional meeting in 1994.)
After the rumours spread, some people used home pregnancy kits to detect hCG in the tetanus vaccine. This method is completely inappropriate, as the kit is designed to test for hCG in urine or blood serum, not in concentrated vaccines.
when proper lab tests were conducted on the vaccines in six laboratories around the world – including a lab chosen by the Vatican – no hCG was found.
A Catholic health care group says tetanus vaccines used in Kenya are not secretly laced with anti-pregnancy hormones, but it is urging the government and public health officials to conduct more tests to confirm it.
The previous lab results that appeared to show evidence of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in Kenya’s tetanus vaccines were “false positives,” said leaders of MaterCare International, a respected health organization that works in Africa.
The sinister smears about Bill Gates are also false – read up on Snopes: Did Bill Gates ‘Admit’ Vaccinations Are Designed So Governments Can ‘Depopulate’ the World?
That should be enough to chew over for a while, whether or not it has much impact on your belief system. Fact-checking services can be easily dismissed by people who try to believe 6 impossible rumours before breakfast.