Whooping cough (pertussis) and the whooping cough vaccine

This was written in response to Grant Jacob’s blog entry which was a long blog in response to a 2 paragraph quote of mine in an Otago Daily Times article. Jacob’s emailed me the link to his article with the attached note…”Excuse the email: I prefer contact to be through the blog, rather than email” So when I tried to email a reply to him it was bounced back with a note saying the email address didn’t exist. I am not interested in getting into a dialogue with Jacob’s and his fellow commenter’s, if you follow the comments you will soon discover why. However, I think that the issues raised regarding the poor efficacy of the whooping cough vaccine, and the need to treat children with the illness – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – deserve more exposure, hence the blog.

Whooping cough (pertussis) and the whooping cough vaccine

With the resurgence of whooping cough even in highly vaccinated populations, and the deaths of a few babies—which some vaccine advocates wish to blame non-vaccinated parents for–it is important to have access to factual information. It is, for example, interesting to note that the only people the natural infection does not confer long-term immunity to are those who have been vaccinated and who still develop the illness, something which is quite common and well documented.

Here is an excellent break down to the “Grant et al” article you mention in the blog.  It is amazing what you find out when you don’t just cherry pick the bites you want.

This is an interesting article which documents the lack of efficacy of the pertussis vaccine.

Vaccine advocates say in one breath that new parents and grandparents should get the booster, then in the next sentence add “Outbreaks at middle and high schools can occur as protection from childhood vaccines fades”

So, where does it end? No doubt we are going to be having annual pertussis boosters regardless of the fact that if mothers breastfed their babies they do not tend to  catch whooping cough during their first year of life. Here is an excellent research paper which explains just that.

Young babies should not be dying of whooping cough in hospital, and if they are, medical staff ought to be utterly ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen in the 21st century; if these babies were administered high doses of vitamin C as soon as they are admitted to hospital, it would ensure their quick recovery. Perhaps the medical profession and parents who are concerned about how to treat their babies with whooping cough should take some advice from this parenting forum. It is not difficult to find research on the effectiveness of high dose Vitamin C in pertussis cases. For example: http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/193x/otani-t-klin_wchnschr-1936-v15-n51-p1884-eng.htm and  http://www.doctoryourself.com/whoop.html

Despite full vaccination, many children who are fully vaccinated with the pertussis vaccine end up contracting whooping cough, yet parents are given no advice on how to cope with the illness when their vaccinated children develop it. Instead, they are told that there is absolutely no proof that high doses of vitamin C will help their children get through this illness. They continue to tell parents that the vaccine is the best way to go, even though the vaccine has over and over again been proven to be useless.

Here in New Zealand, some parents turn to the Immunisation Awareness Society for help when their vaccinated children develop whooping cough, having realised that their doctor is clueless when it comes to treating whooping cough. When these parents come to us for advice, we give information about their options.

All four of my children have had whooping cough and were treated with vitamin C, D3 and manuka honey: they all coped very well. My older two children had it ten years before my younger two and they did not develop it again when my younger two children had it; neither did I or my husband, despite the fact that neither of us have been vaccinated against it. So, unlike many other families, we appear to have developed long-term immunity from direct exposure  to the illness.

It is also interesting that none of my four children developed the illness in their first or the second year of life. Two of them didn’t contract it until they were over five and the other two were almost three. This may well be because they were all breastfed until they were over two and a half years old, although vaccine advocates will probably dismiss this, like so much else, as “a coincidence”.

The ‘Immunisation Handbook’, published by the New Zealand Ministry of Health, mentions that “The initial catarrhal stage… is the most infectious period.” This means that by the time the cough is obvious, the bacteria has actually already shed and the cough is the body’s response to the pertussis toxin, that is why vitamin C reduces the cough to minimal nuisance value only. 

The Ministry handbook also states that:

“In the pre-immunisation era, most symptomatic pertussis infection occurred in the toddler age group, following loss of maternally acquired immunity. In settings with long-standing high coverage with pertussis vaccines in childhood, the bulk of pertussis infection occurs in older siblings, adolescents and adults. These individuals transmit the infection to infants who are either too young to be vaccinated or not yet vaccinated, and who suffer the greatest consequences of clinical pertussis.”

Therefore, not only does the immunity from the vaccine wane in a short amount of time, but babies are no longer getting any passive immunity from their mother, the end result being that ALL age groups are now developing the illness, hence the authorities recommendation of booster shots—even for adults.

Thankfully my three daughters will have antibodies to pass on to their babies, in-utero and via their breastmilk, just as I passed my antibodies to them enabling the babies to get to an age where they were far more able to cope with this natural childhood illness.

The MoH “Immunisation Handbook” is full of contradictions of this sort, which is why we strongly encourage parents to read it. The Immunisation Awareness Society consider it important to compare this information with further information, as this helps parents to make a fully informed choice about vaccination.