Saturday, January 1, 2011

Will a Vaccine Really Protect Your Child from Pertussis?

Although sodium ascorbate is not the best
form for daily intake, it's considered a potent
option against Pertussis.
Pertussis. It strikes fear into the hearts of many parents. It can be a long and hard illness, with a spasmodic cough and thick gray mucus lasting for a long time. But for children under 6 months, it is a severe concern since their diaphragms are not developed well enough to handle the coughing episodes or clear the mucus.

Sadly, the vaccine series is not completed until after the infant has passed that 6 month mark. This has resulted in vaccine campaigns that promote "coccooning." The idea is that if all caregivers get vaccinated, it will somehow protect the infant from the bad germies that cause the cough. Is this true? Does this actually make sense to anyone?

It doesn't really matter if you were vaccinated for Pertussis or not. The vaccine was not developed to stop transmission so your baby would still be "at risk" regardless. And the strains have mutated and are resistant to the vaccine and gaining resistance to the antibiotics as well. Let's take a look.
“ For pertussis cases in which vaccination histories are known, between 44 and 83 percent were of people who had been immunized, according to data from nine California counties with high infection rates. In San Diego County, more than two-thirds of the people in this group were up to date on their immunizations.”

Here is what the actual vaccine company says:

“* It is unknown whether immunizing adolescents and adults against pertussis will reduce the risk of transmission to infants.3”

Now it's popular to pressure pregnant women into getting the Tdap vaccine during their pregnancy. Some doctors and reporters are even implying that if you get vaccinated during pregnancy, you'll transfer vaccine antibodies to the baby. And yet:
"Indirect evidence suggests that maternal antibodies provide short lived protection against fatal pertussis. It is hoped that the protection of young infants could be enhanced by maternal or neonatal vaccination. The possibility of protecting young infants against pertussis by immunizing their mothers during pregnancy was investigated in the 1930s and 1940s; no further studies have been published since."
"The highly transmissible nature of pertussis has been highlighted by an incident at a Sydney maternity hospital in which a fully-immunised nurse infected four neonates."
Our results show that a substantial proportion of school age children with persistent cough who present in primary care have evidence of a recent Bordetella pertussis infection. Despite this, general practitioners rarely diagnose and notify whooping cough in this age group. Most of the children in our study had received a full set of primary immunisations. Although immunisation failed to protect them against pertussis, it did result in attenuated clinical features. Few of the children had a classical whoop, although most children had coughing spasms followed by vomiting.
"The first is that a substantial number of B pertussis infections in unvaccinated children are mild and would not meet the case definition. The second is that all pertussis vaccines tend to modify duration and severity of disease rather than completely preventing illness" (Please note, the CDC removed this page. You can view a "screen shot" of the page on the wayback machine link here: Amended note thanks to Tiffaney: New page here:

"The effects of whole-cell pertussis vaccine wane after 5 to 10 years, and infection in a vaccinated person causes nonspecific symptoms (3-7). Vaccinated adolescents and adults may serve as reservoirs for silent infection and become potential transmitters to unprotected infants (3-11). The whole-cell vaccine for pertussis is protective only against clinical disease, not against infection (15-17). Therefore, even young, recently vaccinated children may serve as reservoirs and potential transmitters of infection. "<<<<--
"In summary, booster immunization of adults with acellular pertussis vaccines was not found to increase bactericidal activity over preimmunization levels. Identifying ways to promote bactericidal immune responses might improve the efficacy of acellular pertussis vaccines. "
"In discussion, Dr Cherry pointed out that in Japan also the reported pertussis incidence in children under three months of age has not declined substantially with return to a high vaccination coverage."
"This is consistent with animal experiments which suggest that adhesions not targeted by the vaccine may permit a bit of colonization and that neutralization of pertussis toxin would limit the severity of the disease but would not have an impact on the initial stages of infection.
"Of particular interest is the lack of a significant ACT antibody response in children for whom the DTP or DTaP vaccines failed. This induced tolerance is intriguing and may be due to the phenomenon called “original antigenic sin”

What about antibiotics? If you read mainstream pages about Pertussis, they are all carefully worded to imply that Pertussis can be "treated" with antibiotics. That is not true. The antibiotics can reduce transmission, but they do not readily reduce the duration or severity of the disease, and in fact can extend it.
“Children who received an antibiotic had a duration of cough 6 to 11 days longer and spasmodic cough 4 to 13 days longer than untreated patients.”
Clinical Infectious Diseases 1992;14:708-719 "Epidemiological Features of Pertussis in the United States, 1980 - 1989" Farizo K M. et al.
“when treatment with erythromycin was initiated... the duration of cough tended to be even longer than for persons who did not receive erythromycin at all.
“AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics are effective in eliminating B. pertussis from patients with the disease, rendering them non-infectious, but do not alter the subsequent clinical course of the illness. There is insufficient evidence to determine the benefit of prophylactic treatment of pertussis contacts.”
"District Dealing With Outbreak Of Whooping Cough In Schools"

Keifer told 69 News there have been five cases. De Benedictis said most children have been vaccinated against pertussis. "Either it's worn off or there's something defective in the vaccine, but it is an effective vaccine basically," De Benedictis explained. "Grand Island has whooping cough outbreak"

All three cases were laboratory-confirmed. All three children were current on vaccines, Vap said. "They all have five doses (of pertussis vaccine), so we are not exactly sure why they contracted the disease," Vap said.
"Number of whooping cough cases on the rise in La Crosse Co."

"Unfortunately the cases that we've had have been immunized and so we're not really sure how it's being spread so well and so fast, but we are investigating that right now," says La Crosse Co. Public Health Nurse Traci Lien.
"Whooping cough in school age children with persistent cough: prospective cohort study in primary care"

"(85.9%) of these children had been fully immunised."
"Whooping cough outbreak puzzles Lincoln officials"

"Whooping cough has reached outbreak status in Lincoln County..There have been 25 cases...23 of them coming from the school...Since all students are required to be vaccinated against the disease before they can attend school and even a single case is considered uncommon, health and school officials are baffled by the outbreak at the school."
"More kids' hospital doctors get whooping cough"

"The hospital says the doctors have contracted the infection despite keeping their vaccinations up to dateDr Brian Wheatley, from the hospital, concedes vaccination is not always effective."
"Vaccinated People Getting Whooping Cough In San Diego"

SAN DIEGO — A KPBS investigation has raised questions about how effective the whooping cough vaccine is in preventing people from getting sick. Nearly two out of three people diagnosed with whooping cough in San Diego County this year, were fully immunized.
"Is Whooping Cough Vaccine Working?"
Mainstream study out of the Netherlands:

"The increase in pertussis incidence was higher among vaccinated
than among unvaccinated persons of all ages."
"Whooping cough strain now immune to vaccine"

"The bacteria that causes whooping cough has mutated, eroding the protection provided by the vaccine now given to children, scientists warned yesterday. Our findings suggest that the use of the acellular vaccine may be one factor contributing to these genetic changes."
"Even those fully vaccinated can still get whooping cough, health official says"

“We do see cases of kids appropriately vaccinated who still get the disease,” said Angie Cierzniewski, a state vaccine preventable disease epidemiologist.
"He said the national Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) had determined vaccinating parents was not effective in protecting newborns, after two pharmaceutical manufacturers made submissions to the PBAC. "The PBAC, which is totally independent and very expert, has determined that there is no clinical effectiveness of this strategy," Professor Brook said. He said this had made it clear the cocooning strategy should not be continued. "There has been a national committee meet to look at this and to make decisions on the basis of the best scientific evidence available ... the evidence is that the strategy has not been effective.""
"But there is something else going on in these outbreaks that casts further doubt on the wisdom of pertussis vaccines, namely the possibility that the vaccinations could actually be causing the outbreaks."
What causes the infamous DTAP scream?
"An acellular whooping cough vaccine actually enhances the colonization of Bordetella parapertussis in mice; pointing towards a rise in B. parapertussis incidence resulting from acellular vaccination, which may have contributed to the observed increase in whooping cough over the last decade."

Pertussis remedies and treatments:

Big one:

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