By Dr. Mercola
2011 was the first year in more than two decades during which there were no deaths from B. pertussis whooping cough in the state of California, the Los Angeles Times recently reportedi.
In 2010, 10 infants reportedly died from the disease.
The number of reported cases of B. pertussis also dropped from 9,000 in 2010 to about 3,000 in 2011.
On September 29, 2010, California passed a law requiring students in grades 7 to 12 to get a sixth dose of pertussis containing vaccine (Tdap) ii, but not all children in that age group got the additional dose of vaccine.
So what caused whooping cough cases to drop in California last year?
While no one knows for certain, I can confidently state that the decline in whooping cough had nothing to do with the vaccine—just like the 2010 outbreak in California had nothing to do with how many children were not fully vaccinated...
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pertussis vaccination rates have been stable or increasing in California ever since 1992, and the state had similar rates of reported pertussis cases in counties with high and low vaccination rates.
So something else was happening.
Pertussis Vaccine is Ineffective at Best
Incredibly, public health officials are now saying that the pertussis vaccine requires three primary shots and three follow-up booster shotsiii just to continue to work—if any protection is provided at all.
In 2010, nearly 1,000 adults and children with whooping cough symptoms tested positive for B. pertussis whooping cough, yet more than half of them had been vaccinated.
Furthermore, CDC data shows 84 percent of children under the age of three 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.
As I reported last year, researchers are reporting that the pertussis bacteria mutated nearly 20 years ago.
The new mutation, which some researchers are calling "P3," is a strain that produces more pertussis toxin (PT).iv
Pertussis toxin is the part of B. pertussis bacteria that is most responsible for the neurological complications of both pertussis disease and pertussis vaccine, and is also most responsible for stimulating immunity. The acelllular pertussis vaccines, which were developed and tested in the late 1980's and early 1990's, did not include the mutated strain.
Plus, a recent study confirmed that acellular pertussis vaccines only stimulate a type of immunity that lasts about three years – at best. The vaccine immunity wears off quite quickly and so lots of vaccinated people are not protected, which is why more than half the people in the California outbreaks in 2010 had been fully vaccinated.
So, contrary to popular belief, in many cases, vaccinated people are as capable of spreading the disease as those, who are unvaccinated. Children and adults, who have received all government-recommended pertussis shots, can and do develop whooping cough, or are asymptomatic carriers; spreading it without their knowledge.
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.
Three Common Goals of Infectious Disease Scare Campaigns
Two years ago, a scare campaign was launched in the California and national media over people opting out of pertussis vaccines, falsely accusing them of causing the then-current whooping cough outbreak. Media campaigns designed to create fear about infectious disease are nothing new, of course. Many of them, the California whooping cough scare included, tend to be designed with the following goals in mind:
- Emphasize disease risks and complications while ignoring vaccine risks and complications
- Place blame for disease cases, complications and deaths on the unvaccinated; and
- Attack the availability of religious and conscientious belief exemptions, which serve as informed consent protections in U.S. vaccine laws
Since the pertussis scare of summer 2010, the attacks on religious and conscientious belief exemptions have intensified and spread across the US. For example, the Colorado Board of Health has been holding hearings on whether or not to adopt a new rule that would mandate healthcare workers get an annual flu vaccine -- with NO religious or conscientious belief exemption provisions, while a federal vaccine advisory committee has recently voted to encourage hospitals and medical facilities to require health care workers get an annual flu shot as a condition of employment.
And in Vermont, there are bills in the House and Senate trying to strip the right to exercise a philosophical exemption to vaccination from state public health laws. In Arizona, state health officials want legislators to place serious restrictions of filing non-medical exemptions, requiring parents to get a signature of a doctor.
In the following video, Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), discusses this important exemption, and why it's so vital we defend our right to opt out of vaccinations for medical, religious, or conscientious belief reasons. All Americans need to know their options for legally opting-out of vaccinations, and you also need to know why it's so important to protect this legal option, whether you choose to use every federally recommended vaccine for yourself and your children or not.
Whooping Cough Vaccine Risks You Should Know
According to Barbara Loe Fisherv,
"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 (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. The toxin is implicated in brain inflammation caused both by the disease (whooping cough) itself, and complications from pertussis-containing vaccines.
For more in-depth information on the DPT vaccine, I highly recommend reading Barbara Loe Fisher's book DPT: A Shot in the Dark, which was the first major, well documented critique of America's mass vaccination system calling for safety reforms and the right to informed consent to vaccination.
Get Informed Before You Vaccinate
No matter what vaccination choices you make for yourself or your family, there is a basic human right to be fully informed about all risks and have the ability to refuse to allow substances you consider to be harmful, toxic or poisonous to be forced upon you.
In the case of whooping cough, the disease is still infecting both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, and outbreaks occur about every four to five years even with very high vaccination rates. Some of the reasons for this were reviewed above.
It's worth noting that whooping cough can be serious, especially for newborns and young 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 requires hospitalization and use of suctioning and re-hydration therapies. However, most 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.
The 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.
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. Is that the kind of pharmaceutical product that you or your child should be forced to take? I don't think so.
Unfortunately, the partnership between government health agencies and vaccine manufacturers is getting closer and closer. There is a lot of discrimination against Americans, who want to be free to exercise their human right to informed consent when it comes to making voluntary decisions about which vaccines they and their children use. We cannot allow that happen!
It's vitally important to know your legal rights and understand your options when it comes to using vaccines and prescription drugs.
For example, your doctor is legally obligated to provide you with the CDC Vaccine Information Statement (VIS) sheet and discuss the potential symptoms of side effects of the vaccination(s) you or your child receive BEFORE vaccination takes place. If someone giving a vaccine does not do this, it is a a violation of federal law. Furthermore, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 also requires doctors and other vaccine providers to:
- Keep a permanent record of all vaccines given and the manufacturer's name and lot number
- Write down serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths that occur after vaccination in the patient's permanent medical record
- File an official report of all serious health problems, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following vaccination to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
If a vaccine provider fails to inform, record or report, it is a violation of federal law. It's important to get all the facts before making your decision about vaccination; and to understand that you have the legal right to opt out of using a vaccine that you do not want you or your child to receive. At present, all 50 states allow a medical exemption to vaccination (medical exemptions must be approved by an M.D. or D.O.); 48 states allow a religious exemption to vaccination; and 18 states allow a personal, philosophical or conscientious belief exemption to vaccination. But as mentioned earlier, vaccine exemptions are under attack in a number of states, and it's in everyone's best interest to protect the right to make informed, voluntary vaccination decisions.
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.
Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights will have the greatest impact.
Signing up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. You will get real-time Action Alerts about what you can do if there are threats to vaccine exemptions in your state. With the click of a mouse or one touch on a Smartphone screen you will be put in touch with YOUR elected representatives so you can let them know how you feel and what you want them to do. Plus, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have all the information you need to make sure your voice is heard.
So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Contact Your Elected Officials
It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.
I also encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at www.NVIC.org:
- NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
- If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
- Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or state officials for making independent vaccine choices.
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 Whooping cough deaths in California vanish in 2011; cases plummet, Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2012
- ii Pertussis boosters now required for all 7th -12th graders for school entry: What physicians need to know, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
- iii 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
- iv Whooping Cough Returns to California After Decades of Decline, PBS Newshour, March 16, 2011
- v Myths and Facts - NVIC.org