By Dr. Mercola
In 2010, the largest outbreak of whooping cough in over 50 years reportedly occurred in California.
Around that same time, a scare campaign was launched in the California by Pharma-funded medical trade associations, state health officials and national media targeting people opting out of using pertussis vaccine, falsely accusing them of causing the then-current whooping cough outbreak.
But new research released last month paints a very different picture than the one being spread by the media.
In fact, the study showed that 81 percent of 2010 California whooping cough cases in people under the age of 18 occurred in those who were fully up to date on the whooping cough vaccine.
81 Percent of Whooping Cough Cases Occurred in People Who Were Fully Vaccinated
CDC data shows 84 percent of children under the age of 3 have received at least FOUR DTaP shots—which is the acellular pertussis vaccine that was approved in the United States in 1996—yet, despite this high vaccination rate, whooping cough still keeps circulating among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.
More likely than not, the vaccine provides very little if any protection, and this was evidenced very clearly in a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.i
Researchers reviewed data on every patient who tested positive for pertussis between March and October 2010 at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael, California.
Out of these 132 patients:
- 81 percent were fully up to date on the whooping cough vaccine
- 8 percent had never been vaccinated
- 11 percent had received at least one shot, but not the entire recommended series
What’s wrong with this picture? Could it be that children and adults, who have received all the government-recommended pertussis shots, can still get the disease? Yes, of course. And this study suggests they may in fact be more likely to get the diseases than unvaccinated populations. Researchers noted:
“Despite widespread childhood vaccination against Bordetella pertussis, disease remains prevalent. It has been suggested that acellular vaccine may be less effective than previously believed. Our data suggests that the current schedule of acellular pertussis vaccine doses is insufficient to prevent outbreaks of pertussis.”
That is clearly stating the obvious, as B. pertussis whooping cough is a cyclical disease and natural increases tend to occur every 4-5 years no matter how high the vaccination rates in a population using DPT or DTaP vaccines on a widespread basis. Whole cell DPT vaccines used in the U.S. from the 1950’s until the late 1990’s were estimated to be 63 to 94 percent effective and studies showed that vaccine-acquired immunity fell to about 40 percent after seven years.
In the recent DTaP vaccine study, researchers noted the vaccine’s effectiveness was only 41 percent among 2- to 7-year-olds and a dismal 24 percent among those aged 8-12. With this shockingly low rate of DTaP vaccine effectiveness, the questionable solution that public health officials have come up with is to declare that everybody has to get three primary shots and three follow-up booster shots just to get the vaccine to give long-lasting protection—if any protection is provided at all.ii
Whooping Cough Vaccine Protection Fades in Three Years
The featured study also suggests that the acellular pertussis vaccine loses much of its effectiveness after just three years. This is much faster than previously believed, and could also help explain the recent whooping cough outbreaks in the U.S.
Unfortunately, stacking on additional booster shots is likely to make matters worse rather than better, especially in light of the fact that the mass use of existing pertussis vaccines has already led to vaccine-resistant strains that are still evolving and could become much more virulent.
The new mutation, which some researchers are calling “P3,” is a strain that produces more pertussis toxin (PT).iii
Pertussis toxin is the part of B. pertussis bacteria that is most responsible for the neurological complications of both pertussis disease and DPT and DtaP pertussis vaccines, and is also most responsible for stimulating an immune response. The acellular pertussis vaccines, which were developed and tested in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, do not include the mutated strain.
Another reason why whooping cough cannot be entirely eradicated is the fact that there’s another Bordetella organism – parapertussis – that can also cause whooping cough. The symptoms of B. parapertussis, while often milder, can look exactly like B. pertussis, but doctors rarely recognize or test for parapertussis. And, there is NO vaccine for it.
One difference between recovering from B. pertussis whooping cough and getting the vaccine is that recovery from whooping cough confers a naturally-acquired immunity that is stronger and longer lasting than the artificial immunity induced by the vaccine. Vaccination requires more and more booster doses to try to extend the artificial vaccine immunity.
Many Doctors Now Pushing Ineffective “Cocooning” Whooping Cough Vaccines
The Tdap vaccine, which is recommended for children aged 7 years and older, as well as adults, is also a combination vaccine that is supposed to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is now directing all physicians, particularly pediatricians, to offer Tdap vaccine to parents and close family members of babies under age 2 months, who are too young to receive a pertussis-containing vaccine themselves. (The other vaccine being promoted to parents and close contacts of babies is the flu vaccine).
Known as “cocooning,” this controversial practice is being promoted by the AAP and government health officials as a way of protecting babies from whooping cough and other infectious diseases like influenza by vaccinating their parents and other adult caregivers. However, there is little evidence to show that this works! In fact, research from Canada showed just the opposite.
The Canadian study investigated how many parents would need to be vaccinated in order to prevent infant hospitalizations and deaths from pertussis using the cocoon strategy, and the results were dismal. They found the number needed to vaccinate (NNV) for parental immunization was at least 1 million to prevent 1 infant death, approximately 100,000 for ICU admission, and >10,000 for hospitalization.iv Researchers concluded:
“… the parental cocoon program is inefficient and resource intensive for the prevention of serious outcomes in early infancy.”
There are Risks Attached to the Whooping Cough Vaccine
Whooping cough can be serious, especially for newborns and babies, whose tiny airways can become clogged with the sticky mucus produced by the toxins in B. pertussis bacteria. These babies can suffer life-threatening breathing problems that require hospitalization and use of suctioning and re-hydration therapies. However, the vast majority of children and adults get through a bout with whooping cough without complications and it is important for them to get proper nutrition, hydration and rest to support the healing process.
Similarly, while some children and adults get pertussis-containing vaccines and experience no complications, others do suffer serious reactions, injuries, or have died after getting vaccinated. According to Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC):v
“Of all the vaccines which have been routinely used by children in the past century, the brain damaging effects of the pertussis (whooping cough) portion of DPT vaccine is among the most well documented in the scientific literature.
Created in 1912, the crude pertussis vaccine basically consisted of B. pertussis bacteria killed with heat, preserved with formaldehyde, and injected into children. In the early 1940’s, aluminum was added as an adjuvant and later the mercury preservative, thimerosal, was added when pertussis was combined with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines to create DPT. Pertussis vaccine was never studied in large clinical trials before being given to children in the first half of the 20th century or after it was combined into DPT and recommended for mass use by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1947.”
Children who are particularly high-risk for brain injury or death after getting a pertussis-containing vaccine (DPT, DTaP or Tdap) include those who have suffered previous vaccine reactions, such as:
- High fever
- High pitched screaming or persistent crying
- Convulsions (with or without fever)
- Collapse/shock (also known as hypo-tonic/hypo-responsive episodes)
- Brain inflammation and encephalopathy
Most of the adverse effects are believed to occur from the effects of the pertussis toxin itself, which is one of the most lethal toxins in nature. It’s a well-known neurotoxin that is so reliable for inducing brain inflammation and brain damage that it’s used to deliberately induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in lab animals.
In the video profile of pertussis vaccine injury below, Barbara Loe Fisher interviews a Houston family with a history of vaccine reactions that spans three generations. Now, a 12-year-old child in the family has become permanently disabled from a reaction to the DTaP vaccine that was given to her, along with 6 other vaccines, at age 15 months.
Either way, getting whooping cough or getting a pertussis vaccination entails a risk. But, remember, the vaccine carries with it two risks: the risk of a serious side effect AND the risk that the vaccine won’t work at all or will only work for a short period of time. What happened to this family is a potent reminder of just how important it is to make well-informed decisions about vaccinations.
What You Can Do to Make a Difference
While it seems “old-fashioned,” the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand your rights under the law to make voluntary vaccine choices, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
Find a Doctor Who will Listen to Your Concerns
If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to punish those patients and parents, who become truly educated about health and vaccination and want to make vaccine choices instead of being forced to follow risky one-size-fits-all vaccine policies.
If you are treated with disrespect or are harassed in any way by a doctor (or government official), do not engage in an unproductive argument. You may want to contact an attorney, your elected state representatives or local media if you or your child are threatened.
However, there is hope.
At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.
So take the time to locate and connect with a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.
- i Clinical Infectious Diseases March 15, 2012
- ii Updated Recommendations for Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2010, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Report Weekly, January 14, 2011 / 60(01);13-15
- iii Whooping Cough Returns to California After Decades of Decline, PBS Newshour, March 16, 2011
- iv The Number Needed to Vaccinate to Prevent Infant Pertussis Hospitalization and Death Through Parent Cocoon Immunization, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2011: Danuta M. Skowronski, et al.
- v Myths and Facts – NVIC.org
Source: Reuters April 3, 2012