How do you best protect your infant from whooping cough outbreaks? Obviously it’s the vaccine, right? Maybe not.
A study, performed at Kaiser Permanente (a health insurer) in California, examined children who contracted whooping cough during an outbreak in 2010 and found that most had in fact been fully vaccinated. According to Reuters News Service April 3, “Of the 132 patients under age 18, 81 percent were up to date on recommended whooping cough shots and eight percent had never been vaccinated. The other 11 percent had received at least one shot, but not the complete series.”
Meanwhile, Big Pharma advocates have been bashing parents who delay vaccination, claiming they are causing whooping cough epidemics. This is now patently false.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, who operates a huge website advocating natural health based on research outcomes, has a very interesting discussion of the Kaiser Permanente findings. He also quotes a key doctor who claims the efficacy of the new whooping cough vaccine was manipulated when a World Health Organization vaccine-oversight committee, which the doctor was a member of, redefined a case of whooping cough. This tougher definition involved 1) having at least 21 days of paroxysmal coughing and 2) laboratory confirmation. Since milder cases were excluded from the results of the efficacy study, the vaccine looked a lot more effective than it actually was, charged James D. Cherry, MD, who published his article recently in the respected journal Pediatrics.
The National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) in Washington, D.C., is an official government committee advising the national vaccine program. Its June meeting spent a lot of time discussing a pertussis outbreak in Washington State, where Charles DeBolt, representing the Washington state Department of Health, reported questions from parents.
“According to Dr. DeBolt the state has been ‘flooded by phone calls’ from parents, stating that their child was up-to-date on pertussis vaccination and had still contracted pertussis. Dr. DeBolt also reported to the NVAC that Washington continues to have high vaccination rates and vaccine exemptions for school age children overall were only 4%.” This report comes from Theresa Wangram, reporting for the National Vaccine Information Center.
Ms. Wangram said she contacted the Washington Department of Health in May to request information on rates of pertussis among vaccinated and unvaccinated populations in Washington. She was told that numbers were not yet available. Also, she noted that at the NVAC meeting the CDC’s Dr. Tom Clark reported that, “while uptake of the pertussis vaccine is high and has reduced pertussis in some populations, increased uptake has not translated into decreased mortality among infants.”