Whooping cough vaccine failure drives resurgence of the disease

The recent unfortunate death of a young Alberta infant due to complications from whooping cough (pertussis) has sparked a media frenzy over disease increase in highly vaccinated populations. Rather than provide factual information about pertussis vaccine ineffectiveness, changing epidemiology of the disease, and shifting genetics of the organism, health officials prefer blaming the unvaccinated as they ramp up fear factor to get you lining up for more shots.

Despite vaccination rates of up to 95%, the incidence of whooping cough and mortality from the disease in developed countries has been increasing since 1990 “When exposed to pertussis infection, over 50% of vaccinated people develop asymptomatic, mild disease and become a source of infection for infants in whom pertussis may result in hospitalization and death”, say researchers.

The call to intensify vaccine coverage will not result in more protection for vulnerable babies because the pertussis vaccine does NOT prevent transmission of the disease. Fully vaccinated people can remain infectious and act as silent carriers transmitting the disease to infants without themselves displaying clinical symptoms.

An Israeli study concluded, “Vaccinated adolescents and adults may serve as reservoirs for silent infection and become potential transmitters to unprotected infants…..even young, recently vaccinated children may serve as reservoirs and potential transmitter of infection.” So much for the widely touted theory of “herd immunity” which assumes that if you are vaccinated you can neither catch nor spread the disease in question.

Australian researchers warned last year that the bacteria that causes whooping cough has mutated, eroding ‘protection’ provided by the vaccine. Another strain of the organism, parapertussis can also cause whooping cough. A recent study found that “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.”

On examining the health records of thousands of California children, infectious disease specialist Dr. David Witt, was very surprised to find that the majority of cases of whooping cough were in fully vaccinated children. Witt’s report published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases concluded that, “the vaccine is effective about half of the time for all kids, and just 24 percent of the time in the eight to 12 year old age group”.

The death of a young child is always a profound tragedy whether it occurs in the vaccinated or unvaccinated. Infants in the first year of life have always been at highest risk of serious injury from both pertussis disease and its vaccine. Well documented in the medical literature, pertussis vaccine is notorious for its ineffectiveness and for causing neurological injuries and death in young children.

A 1989 multidisciplinary workshop led by experts in pediatric neurology considered the neurologic complications of whooping cough and whole cell pertussis vaccine. “The most carefully conducted retrospective case-control study reported that the relative risk of a previously normal infant for the onset of an illness leading to encephalopathy with permanent subsequent disability was 4.2 times greater during the first 72 hours following DPT vaccination than in controls.”

In 1991 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines concluded that “evidence is consistent with a causal relation between DPT vaccine and acute encephalopathy (brain inflammation) and “unusual shock-like state (hypotonic/hyporesponsive episode): and that “evidence indicates a causal relation between DPT vaccine and shock (anaphylaxis) and protracted, inconsolable crying.”

Medical officials know full well that an acute brain inflammation can lead to death or a diagnosis of mental retardation, medication resistant seizure disorders, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, autism and other chronic neurological and health problems. Since the inception of mass vaccination programs, many families have lost their children to vaccine injuries because they trusted and believed their doctors’ assurance that the vaccine was safe.

And even earlier, in 1980, Gordon T. Stewart M.D Emeritus professor of Public Health in the U.K. and principal investigator of the disease wrote that the vaccine “has never been proved to be adequate in protecting infants below one year of age… [in the U.K.]….the marginal advantages of the vaccine in children over one year of age have to be offset against adverse effects of the vaccine itself….”

Dr. Edward Yazbak’s 2003 review of death and disabilities reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) which records approximately 1 to 10% of vaccine reactions and injuries in the U.S., found that, “of 253 infant deaths cases awarded more than 61 million dollars by the US Court of Federal Claims in the 1990s, 224, or 86%, were attributed to vaccination with DTP.” He writes, “Even without factoring in any under-reporting to VAERS, the number of infants reported to have died by the day following vaccination in 1998 is still more than the number who died as a result of whooping cough in the year 2000.”

The National Vaccine Information Center’s (NVIC) recent analysis whooping cough surge in the highly vaccinated U.S. population confirms that increased uptake of pertussis vaccine “has not translated into decreased mortality among infants.”

Health officials who advocate for “cocooning” infants against pertussis, a strategy of vaccinating family members in contact with babies, are stabbing in the dark. Australia has recently abandoned the “cocooning” strategy in place since 2009, because the clinical evidence shows that cocooning is “not effective in protecting newborns from the potentially deadly illness.”

Alongside the call for “cocooning” is the push to vaccinate pregnant women with Tdap, the triple antigen, diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccine. In late 2011 the CDC’s federal advisory committee on immunization recommended injection of pregnant women at 20 weeks gestation. According to the NVIC report, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rates Tdap vaccine as a Category C drug, meaning: “Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans……”

NVIC points out that, “Animal fertility studies have not been conducted, nor have human studies on the potential for fetal harm as disclosed in manufacturer product inserts for Tdap (Sanofi Pasteur – Adacel, GlaxoSmithKline – Boostrix). Many pregnant women are likely unaware that Tdap is licensed as a Category C drug, or that safety data is being gathered from passive mechanisms as the vaccine is used on them. Most pregnant women would assume that when their doctor recommends that they receive the Tdap vaccine that it has been proven safe.”

NVIC is very concerned that “vaccine injuries, reactions and deaths arising from the administration of Tdap in pregnant women is likely to be underreported, as is already acknowledged with VAERS* and vaccine reactions in general, all the while exposing mother and child to unknown risks associated with the vaccine.” They ask, “Exactly where is the sound SCIENCE that demonstrates that the benefits of giving Tdap during pregnancy outweighs the risks?……..the lack of transparency in terms of what the public at large is told in relation to pertussis incidence, cocooning, and Tdap use in pregnancy is stunning.”

Attack articles such as recently published in the Globe & Mail denigrate families who choose to shield their children from the top heavy “one-size-fits-all” vaccine schedule which includes up to 41 doses of 14 vaccines by the time a baby is 18 months old. Depending on where you live in Canada, a two month old baby can receive up to 9 vaccines on the same day. We ask, where are the studies proving it is safe to inject infants with this many vaccines? Answer – there are none!

Rife with misinformation and distortions, the Globe & Mail piece in sympathizing with DTaP vaccine as “the victim of unscientific claims that it caused neurological damage” is nothing less than ‘medical revisionism’. It attempts to sanitize the dark history of pertussis vaccine while demonizing those who refuse vaccines. Vaccine awareness groups like VRAN are accused of being “quacks and charlatans” for encouraging parents and individuals to educate themselves prior to making a vaccine decision. The hostility and ignorance evident in this piece fuels the ongoing decline of public trust in vaccines.

We ask the medical profession and media why they believe the life a child who is injured or killed by a vaccine has less value than that of a child who has succumbed to the disease? Curiously, they are uncurious about the children who have been injured by this vaccine and have paid the ultimate price.

It is precisely because so many children were injured by the DPT whole cell pertussis vaccine that public information and support groups have sprung up around the world to document and study health injuries caused by mass vaccination programs. It was the parents of children injured and killed by DPT vaccine who spearheaded the U.S. Congressional initiative 25 years ago to create a vaccine injury compensation program in that country. Canada has no comparable system of compensating vaccine injury victims.

As of June, 2010, over half of the 2,480 awards for vaccine injury and death totaling $2 billion dollars awarded under the U.S. 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act involve pertussis vaccine. Thousands of vaccine injury victims wait in the wings to have their cases heard by the U.S. Vaccine Court.

Canadian health officials should take a cue from their American counterparts who are venturing towards more transparency about the ineffectiveness of pertussis vaccine. CDC spokesperson Tom Skinner concedes that, “the outbreaks are probably not the result of the increase in the number of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children from certain diseases….[and] “It’s not likely that vaccine refusal is having a large role in this,” he said. “Pertussis is a bacterium that’s cyclical in nature. We see these outbreaks from time to time as immunity wanes in our populations”. Dr. Peter Cieslak, Medical Director of the Oregon Immunization Program observed that,“The vaccine is not going to eradicate pertussis. “It isn’t good enough to wipe out the disease, and it’s going to be around indefinitely”.

We challenge health officials to show us the science proving it is safe to inject so many vaccines simultaneously into small babies. Parents of vaccine injured children wonder why independently conducted risk/benefit analyses have never done to compare long term health outcomes in both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. For decades, parents of vaccine injured children have been calling for such studies to understand whether children subjected to the intensive “one-size-fits-all” vaccine schedule are more or less healthy than children shielded by their families from mass vaccination programs.

Long lasting Immunity Derived from the disease vs. Temporary Vaccine Immunity:

A study estimating the duration of pertussis immunity after recovery from the disease published in PLoS Pathogens in 2009, states: “Our results support a period of natural immunity that is , on average, long-lasting (at least 30 years)…” although, “some individuals would lose immunity quite rapidly.”

Compare that to a study concerning duration of immunity to DTaP vaccine which found a 36% increased risk of acquiring pertussis with each year that follows vaccination. Lead author, Roger Baxter MD, told Medscape Medical News: “If you look over time, this means that whatever your DTaP vaccine was worth to begin with, at 3 years it’s 32% and at 5 years it’s 16% of your initial effectiveness.”

It’s incongruous that, although pertussis vaccine has been used widely since the late 1940s we still have pertussis epidemics and a few pertussis deaths. Yet, well before that time and the introduction of antibiotics, the pertussis death rate was steadily declining. In fact, a July 31, 2012 ABC News report indicates that the disease itself may have declined so much by the late 1940s that its rate was no worse than today’s. The report states “The United States might see the highest number of cases of whooping cough in more than five decades this year…”

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