In 2012, the U.S. saw a rise in whooping cough with nearly 50,000 infections.
Infants died at three times the rate of the rest of the population in that year alone.
Public health officials have always pointed to the effectiveness of the vaccines, while the anti-vaccine movement has said vaccines are the cause of the outbreaks.
But a new study by Benjamin M. Althouse and Sam Scarpino, from the Santa Fe Institute, suggests that it may just be the vaccinated people who are infectious, but who are not showing any of the symptoms of whooping cough.
It also suggests that the number of people who are transmitting the infection without symptoms could be many times greater than those who are transmitting with the symptoms. The study was published in BMC Medicine.
Let’s talk about pertussis— the Big Bad Wolf Campaign only creates more whooping cough victims:
According to Science Daily, in the 1950s, highly successful vaccines based on inactivated pertussis cells (the bacteria that cause whooping cough) drove infection rates in the U.S. below one case per 100,000 people. But adverse side effects of those vaccines led to the development and introduction in the 1990s of acellular pertussis vaccines, which use just a handful of the bacteria’s proteins and bypass most of the side effects. This is currently given to children as part of the TDAP vaccine.
What is whooping cough?
The problem is that “the newer vaccines might not block transmission. A January 2014 study in PNAS by another research team demonstrated that giving baboons acellular pertussis vaccines prevented them from developing symptoms of whooping cough, but failed to stop transmission,” the Santa Fe Institute said.
“Building on that result, Althouse and Scarpino used whopping cough case counts from the CDC, genomic data on the pertussis bacteria, and a detailed epidemiological model of whooping cough transmission to conclude that acellular vaccines may well have contributed to—even exacerbated—the recent pertussis outbreak by allowing infected individuals without symptoms to unknowingly spread pertussis multiple times in their lifetimes,” they added.
Vaccination: Parents conclude vaccines are not safe for their children:
“There could be millions of people out there with just a minor cough or no cough spreading this potentially fatal disease without knowing it,” said Althouse. “The public health community should act now to better assess the true burden of pertussis infection.”
The results show that cocooning is not effective; cocooning is where the interior family gets vaccinated, which was supposed to protect the newborn.
“It just doesn’t work, because even if you get the acellular vaccine, you can still become infected and can still transmit. So that baby is not protected,” Althouse says.
Does this mean the current vaccine is useless? Not at all, the pair says. Until researchers can develop a new pertussis vaccine that blocks transmission, the protection the acellular vaccine offers to individuals is vital, wrote Science Daily.
“It’s the symptoms of pertussis infection that kill people,” Scarpino says, “and the existing vaccine prevents the most debilitating effects of whooping cough.”
Dr. Sam Scarpino talking about their study on acellular whooping cough vaccine:
“There are lots of people out there who may be transmitting pertussis unknowingly,” Scarpino says. “Not vaccinating your own child puts her or him at increased risk of severe disease, even death.”
This study makes a lot of sense. The problem is that if you do not vaccinate your child and if she/he is around others who have been vaccinated, there is an increased likelihood that your child may contract whooping cough.