By Dr. Mercola
In the US, from January 1 to June 16, 2014, there have been nearly 10,000 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is a 24 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2013.1 The CDC maintains that the best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated, but this deserves a closer look.
CDC data shows 84 percent of children under the age of 3 have received at least FOUR DTaP shots and yet, despite this high vaccination rate, whooping cough still keeps circulating among both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
The vaccine is clearly ineffective, and it's not just failing to prevent whooping cough in the US. In the UK, researchers similarly revealed that nearly 20 percent of fully vaccinated children still contracted whooping cough.
Nearly One-Fifth of Vaccinated Children Develop Whooping Cough
Researchers from the University of Oxford followed 279 children, aged 5 to 15 years, who visited their doctors due to a persistent cough lasting two to eight weeks. Twenty percent of the children were diagnosed with whooping cough, including 18 percent who were fully vaccinated against it.2 The researchers concluded:
"Pertussis can still be found in a fifth of school age children who present in primary care with persistent cough and can cause clinically significant cough in fully vaccinated children."
In the US, pertussis outbreaks have been occurring around the country, with the most highly publicized among them occurring in California. In 2010, the largest outbreak of whooping cough in over 50 years was reported in the state.
Again in June 2014, the director of the California Department of Public Health declared a pertussis outbreak, with 3,458 cases so far this year.3 The media often blames unvaccinated children as the cause of the outbreaks, but even the CDC acknowledges this is not the case:4
"Even though children who haven't received DTaP vaccines are at least 8 times more likely to get pertussis than children who received all 5 recommended doses of DTaP, they are not the driving force behind the large scale outbreaks or epidemics."
81 Percent of Pertussis Patients Fully Vaccinated
The University of Oxford study is only the latest to show that fully vaccinated individuals may still develop pertussis, at high rates. In a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, 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.5 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
It's clear that children and adults who have received all the government-recommended pertussis vaccine containing shots can still get the disease -- and this study even suggests they may in fact be more likely to get the diseases than unvaccinated populations. 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.6
"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."
Four Reasons Why Pertussis Epidemics Persist
With high vaccination rates, many people would assume (and the government would lead you to believe) that disease outbreaks would be prevented. This clearly is not the case with pertussis, and Peggy O'Mara, the former editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine, recently shared four reasons why:
1. Pertussis Is Cyclical by Nature
Whooping cough is a cyclical disease and natural increases tend to occur every 4-5 years no matter how high the vaccination rates are in a population. According to the CDC:7
"Since the early 1980s, there has been an overall trend of an increase in reported pertussis cases. Pertussis is naturally cyclic in nature, with peaks in disease every 3-5 years. But for the past 20-30 years, we've seen the peaks getting higher and overall case counts going up.
There are several reasons that help explain why we're seeing more cases as of late. These include: increased awareness, improved diagnostic tests, better reporting, more circulation of the bacteria, and waning immunity."
2. Pertussis Vaccine Immunity Wanes Over Time
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 US. The CDC acknowledges that waning immunity is common with the DTaP vaccine:8
3. Vaccinated Individuals May Still Spread Pertussis
The pertussis booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. The Tdap vaccine is recommended for children aged 7 years and older, as well as adults, parents, and close family members of babies under age 2 months, who are too young to receive a pertussis-containing vaccine themselves.
Known as "cocooning," this controversial practice is being promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and government health officials as a way of protecting babies from whooping cough by vaccinating their parents and other adult caregivers.
However, there is little evidence to show that this works! In fact, research shows that vaccinated individuals may still transmit the disease. In an animal study, while whole cell DPT and acellular-pertussis-vaccinated baboons did not develop serious clinical disease symptoms—such as loss of appetite and cough—when they were exposed to the B. pertussis bacteria, they still colonized B. pertussis in their throats and were capable of transmitting the infection to other baboons.9
The study's lead author Tod Merkel also explained that when exposed to B. pertussis after recently getting vaccinated, you could be an asymptomatic carrier and infect others, saying:10
"When you're newly vaccinated, you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population."
A Canadian study also 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.11
4. Tdap Booster Is Only Moderately Effective
With the short-lived immunity of pertussis vaccine apparent, the Tdap booster shot is recommended for older children and adults. But research has shown that the booster shot is only 53 percent to 64 percent effective, which the researchers described as "moderate."12 There is also concern that the mass use of pertussis vaccines has already led to vaccine-resistant strains (so-called "escape mutants") that are evolving more rapidly and may become more virulent due to the overuse of the same vaccine strains.
The new mutation, which some researchers are calling "P3," is a strain that produces more pertussis toxin (PT).13 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.
What Are the Risks of the Pertussis 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. 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 of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) 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.
15 Natural Remedies for Whooping Cough
If you think you have whooping cough, you should seek medical attention right away, especially if it occurs in a young child. However, there are some natural treatments that may help (and certainly won't hurt). Peggy O'Mara suggested the following options:14
Avoid mucus-forming foods, such as milk, flour, and eggs, as well as sugar Eat light foods such as vegetables, soups with garlic, and herbal teas Homeopathic remedies for pertussis include Coccus cacti and the nosode, Pertussin. Drosera is recommended for coughing fits followed by gagging, retching, or vomiting. Cuprum may be indicated for coughing fits followed by gasping for air, difficulty breathing, or that end in exhaustion Wild cherry bark lozenges may soothe your throat Keep well hydrated Try up to 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily for seven days Keep your room and home well-ventilated and free of smoke Use a warm air humidifier with essential oils (try basil, cyprus, marjoram, thyme, wintergreen, tea tree, camphor, lavender, chamomile, peppermint, or eucalyptus) Massage essential oils with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) into the patient's chest or back Acupuncture may be beneficial (and its effects for whooping cough are recognized by the World Health Organization) Rest and avoid exertion Arrange pillows so the patient can be more upright while sleeping Boil fresh ginger root in water for 20 minutes, then add the water to a foot bath to soak feet for up to 20 minutes Heat a pan of water to just boiling, then add a few drops of oil of thyme. Have the patient breathe in the steam from the pan (cover his or her head with a towel, being careful to avoid getting burned) Keep skin hydrated by massaging in coconut oil daily
Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions
With growing uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it's critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY.
National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact. It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.
Signing up for NVIC's free Advocacy Portal at www.NVICAdvocacy.org gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your Smart Phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips… So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.
Share Your Story with the Media and People You Know
If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury or death, please talk about it. If we don't share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story. I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the "other side" of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down.
Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it. We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination. The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than "statistically acceptable collateral damage" of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn't be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), 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 and sanctions by doctors, employers, school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
Connect with Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care
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 stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination. 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 a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.