Here is where I am: I had determined after hours of reading on "both sides" to delay vaccinating my infant daughter until she was 2 years old, and then going from there, depending on where we were going to be traveling in the world, and on my gleaning more information about the truth, etc. But a recent (within the past two months) outbreak of pertussis in a town less than two hours away has scared me. The children of friends and extended family who live there have had it severely. So at her 2 month checkup yesterday, my husband and I decided to go ahead start the DTaP, especially after the Dr. said that she would begin to be immune immediately. I'd thought that no immunity would occur before the series was complete Dr, told me she'd have 65% immunity after the first shot, then increasing from there.
Now, I'm reading and considering those I know who've had whooping cough in the past. It certainly sounds as if the vaccine isn't even effective! Is there ANY evidence of the childhood immunization for pertussis actually helping? Basic vaccine info websites say that the pertussis vaccine is 80-85% effective. So what does that mean? That vaccinated people are (supposedly) less likely to get it, or that it only "works" in 80-85% of the vaccinated population?
Thankfully, my LO has had no side effects with this dose, she barely cried even at the prick. But I'm very skeptical about continuing the series. I was nervous anyway, and now it seems foolish and irresponsible to take the chance of a negative reaction if there's no medical evidence of the vaccine offering protection. I'd like some sound advice here - I'm a new mom, seeking to follow the right paths for my child's health, and feeling bound by my own ignorance and confused by the opposing views on vaccinations.