Monday, June 16, 2014

Whooping Cough - let's hack at facts ...

The following link scrolled through my FB feed today:

Whooping cough is not fun - I had it as a child and remember a house call from our family physician and steam treatments in an effort to help me breath (I was likely 3-5 years old at
the time). I'm not sure if I had received the vaccine. I don't blame parents (or anyone else)
who wants to avoid getting ill - and there is reason to believe that vaccines reduce risk of
disease. But even the best intended interventions can have unintended consequences (many
of which are discovered after the fact) - and for this reason we should be free to determine
whether or not to receive, or decline, vaccination for anything.

In Cali, of those for whom they had a vaccination history (almost 3/4 of peds cases), only 9% had never had a pertussis containing vaccine, so at least 2/3 of cases had had at least 1 dose of pertussis vaccine.
This link was provided in the article above:

If most cases have been vaccinated (to one degree or another) it begs the question of effectiveness (see below about b. parapertussis) - but there is also research implying that any risk reduction (I won't call it "protection" - we try to consider these two, different concepts equivalent when they are not) wanes farely quickly (within a few years of receipt of the vaccine) so it may be necessary to re-vaccinate frequently in order to maintain whatever benefit of risk reduction you may obtain from vaccine use. 

There is research linking pertussis vaccine with the rise of b. parapertussis, a related organism producing nearly identical symptoms;  I suspect this is like anti-biotic resistance, a lessen we are only beginning to learn. 

Also, the recently vaccinated may well be reservoirs for infection (and so they may also play a role in the spread of the infection, not just the unvaccinated) - here's a link to a study that showed this in baboons: 

Lastly, there are reports (both anecdotal and in the medical/scientific literature) of the use of high doses of Vit C as a treatment modality for pertussis ... seems to have a direct action against the bacteria as well as against the toxin it produces. It's been given either orally or intravenously.

Vaccination isn't without risks ... the decision to vaccinate (or not) should be made freely, without coercion or manipulation. Each parent/adult should decide for themselves which risk/benefit ratio they wish to accept.


  1. I don't know which vacations & boosters I've received over the years. When I joined the Navy 30+ years ago, I was given a lot! And b4 I moved to Arkansas for college in '89, I was required by state law to provide proof of MMR vaccination. (I don't know the laws now, but at the time, ALL students, regardless of age or education level - including college - had to provide this before they could enroll.) I personally believe all vaccines are for my own good, and I don't hesitate when they're recommended.

    Yet as a gay man (abstinenate 5+ years now, thus not at any risk), I know many people in various stages of HIV/AIDS. And of course any type of disease entering their bodies could potentially kill them. Thus I believe it would be foolish at best for them to partake of *any* vaccine that contains the disease, such as the ones mentioned above. (I've been told repeatedly that the HIV/AIDS vaccine contains no virus at all, which makes me wonder how the body knows when to fight & resist it.)

    1. Hi Tim - the primary position of my blog is that vaccination should not be coerced/forced/manipulated ... it should be voluntary b/c it is not risk free;
      It has been controversial since it began (ie: w/Jenner, ? ~1700's?);

      I'm not sure how far along an HIV vaccine is in development, but I predict it won't work well - I expect it will give a false sense of security, much like the use of condoms; And the vaccine is really not necessary as the disease
      can be avoided by reserving sex for marriage (ie: between men and women);

      Thanks for reading!


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