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Are Unvaccinated People Causing the Whooping Cough Epidemics?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

No. They are not.

 

This issue rears its head repeatedly in our discussions, so I decided to give it its own thread.

 

From Ann Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control:

 

http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/t0719_pertussis_epidemic.html

 

Quote:

We know there are places around the country where there are large numbers of people who aren't vaccinated.  However, we don't think those exemptors are driving this current wave.  We think it is a bad thing that people aren't getting vaccinated or exempting, but we cannot blame this wave on that phenomenon.  Next question. 

 

From Jeff Diamond of the Centers for Disease Control:

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/730253

 

Quote:

While pertussis and its prevention is complex, speculations that current outbreaks may be due to vaccine refusal do not hold up, said CDC spokesman Jeff Dimond. “The numbers don't support that argument," Dimond said. "There's no cause and effect relationship there."

It is true, at least according to the first link, that the unvaccinated are 8 times more likely to catch whooping cough.  But epidemiologists have been unable to pinpoint the unvaccinated as the source of transmission.

 

There is a dangerous tendency among policy-makers—and the medico-industrial complex that lobbies them—to take away the right to informed consent  in vaccine decision-making based on the misconception that the unvaccinated are causing the spread of whooping cough.  But this underlying assumption is patently false.

 

I realize that there is some speculation in this forum that despite these words from top public health officials, the unvaccinated must somehow be the responsible party for the spread of pertussis.  This is one of those cases, however, in which I am going to take the word from the Centers for Disease Control, an agency that cannot possibly have anything to gain from this admission.

If you care about preserving or even gaining the right to informed consent, please bookmark this thread.  When you correspond with your senators and representatives, even link them to it!

post #2 of 33
With pertussis in particular I think it's safe to say that unvaccinated people are not the main driver. That doesn't mean they don't contribute to an outbreak in a particular community or that communities with low vaccination rates aren't at increased risk for an outbreak.
post #3 of 33

 Thank you for posting thing. I think it is interesting how many want to blame the unvaccinated or say they contribute to this at least, don't ask the better question. Why is the vaccine not working? 

 

 http://abcnews.go.com/Health/whooping-cough-vaccine-protection-short-lived/story?id=17221497#.UNYw8m-ofng

 

 We found that the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes 42 percent on average each year during the five years after the fifth dose," said Dr. Nicola Klein

 

It seems their solution is to give it more and more often. While this is good for profits, I can't see how it is good for health with side effects and the simple fast that it is not proven to work in the first place. 

post #4 of 33
It is proven to work. It lowers your risk of pertussis 9-23 times. It is 90%+ effective against the diseases it vaccinated against.

I think the reasons it's not working as well as other vaccines are starting to be understood, and scientists are still working on understanding them better. Which is a good thing. None of that means unvaccinated people, especially when they cluster together in communities with high exemption rates, don't contribute. They do.
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Actually, it only lowers it by 8 times, according to the first link in my OP. Still compelling data, but it's not 9-23. You may have different data, but when its my cited data v. your uncited data...sorry. No contest. ;-) That's the drawback of not providing links.

The unvaccinated contribute to the outbreaks. So do the vaccinated. That's the whole point that the CDC is making. shrug.gif
post #6 of 33
My number comes from a variety of studies that I've read. I'll happily revise it to 8-23 in the future.
post #7 of 33
I don't always have the links handy, just so happens I have one handy right now. This is the study that found unvaccinated children 23 times more likely to contract pertussis.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/6/1446.abstract

It used relatively small numbers, I've seen other studies in the 8-23 range, which is why I usually cite the whole range rather than a firm number.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

I don't always have the links handy, just so happens I have one handy right now. This is the study that found unvaccinated children 23 times more likely to contract pertussis.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/6/1446.abstract

It used relatively small numbers, I've seen other studies in the 8-23 range, which is why I usually cite the whole range rather than a firm number.

 

I recommend everyone read Hilary Butler's rebuttal to this "research" which is the first comment, it is worth it.

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/6/1446.abstract/reply#pediatrics_el_44443

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Flawed Foundational Premise

Rewording the conclusion slightly it would seem that, "Herd immunity does not seem to completely protect (the 11% of) unvaccinated children from pertussis (which were given to them by the 89% of cases who were vaccinated)."

The body of the article talked about "ongoing endemic circulation" and "frequent asymptomatic infections" with the hope that adolescent and adult boosters might do something about both. If "herd immunity" exists, as the authors insist..., how can there also be " frequent asymptomatic infections" and "ongoing endemic circulation"?

 

 

 

Here is a quote from David Foster, who also posted a critique of the study:

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Obfuscation and misinterpretation?

 
So there are many issues with this study, but the lack of data on how many pertussis cases were identified based on PCR test alone makes this study difficult to interpret. If a majority of these case classifications were based on PCR alone then in my opinion the results of this study become invalid.

Edited by Mirzam - 12/23/12 at 3:52pm
post #9 of 33
Yes, please read Hilary butlers non sequitur.

Disclaimer: this statement is no way meant to reflect on Hilary butler personally or generally. It is simply meant to imply that her statement does not follow logically from the article and is, therefore, a non sequitur. I might even call it a tangent. Or a borderline rant. Especially towards the end when she really gets spun up. HOWEVER, these statements are limited to this specific statement and in no way should be generalized about anything she has said it is otherwise. Thank you for your time.

Ps: this is why I don't bother with links sometimes. Someone who's really interested is more than capable of verifying for themselves and it just creates a rabbit hole.
Edited by Rrrrrachel - 12/24/12 at 4:28am
post #10 of 33

Please tread lightly on the topic of Hilary Butler's editorial. We have the "Big Girl Panties" guidelines for members posting HERE at MDC.  By choosing to participate on the debate forums members agree to these guidelines. Hilary is not participating on this thread so she has not agreed to these terms. Refer to the general MDC UA for referring to members (or anyone!) not participating on this thread. 

post #11 of 33
Do these guidelines also apply to Paul thorsen, offit, and other public figures who choose not to participate at mdc?
post #12 of 33

Yes, the general UA applies to everyone.

post #13 of 33

Personally, I will continue to say 8 time higher, as I trust CDC to give out solid baseline information.

 

DTaP is 90 percent effective over the diseases it protects against (I don' t think "effectiveness"  is a particularly useful term without discussion of prevalence) but is only 55-80% effective against pertussis.  CDC.

 

I find it interesting when people only blame non-vaxxers for a spike in pertussis.  If non-vaxxing (to the degree done by society) =  a spike in a disease, then why haven't we seen spikes in other VAD's?  The bottom line is the vaccine is not doing what it was intended to do.  The solution does not lie in trying to convince the 1% of non-vaxxers to vaccinate; it lies in sorting out what the real issue is and  developing a better vaccine or better protocol.  


Edited by kathymuggle - 12/24/12 at 10:12am
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Personally, I will continue to say 8 time higher, as I trust CDC to give out solid baseline information.

Orly.

I agree anyone who is claiming unvaccinated individuals are solely responsible for disease outbreaks, especially wrt pertussis, is usin outdated information. I think it's equally erroneous to say they have nothing to do with it, though. Especially in communities where there is a high prevalence of unvaccinated individuals.
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
To repeat, the vaccinated and unvaccinated are contributing with zero proof that one is causing it more than the other. That's the CDC's whole point.

And ALL communities have a high percentage of unvaccinated people because the overwhelming majority of adults aren't getting their pertussis boosters. Where the pertussis component of DTaP is concerned, there never has been herd immunity; this endemic disease has ebbed and flowed independently of all of that.
post #16 of 33

Actually, your statements are incorrect.  Unvaccinated people are most definitely responsible for the whooping cough epidemics.  However, many people look at this as meaning 'those vaccinated as children', whereas the whooping cough immunisation wanes over time and anyone who has gone 10 years without an update is effectively unvaccinated.   Much of the whooping cough that is spread around is done so by people who do not understand the requirement to get boosters.

 

This issue gets a little bogged down with the anti vaccination crowd trying to tell us a lot of phurphies about whooping cough, but there is a very simple reality .. in areas where immunisation is low, the instance of the disease is high.  In areas where immunisation is high, the instance of the disease is low.  Vaccination is effective for whooping cough as long as we seek out our boosters.  This is clearly seen in Australia where the home of the anti vaccination network is and the instance of immunisation is low and instance of whooping cough is high.

 

As someone who has a friend who lost her 6 week old baby to whooping cough this year, having most likely given him the whooping cough herself (nearly 40% of whooping cough is small babies is passed by the mother who doesn't even know she has whooping cough), I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that we adults keep our immunisation up to date for the sake of all those little babies, to young to be immunised.

post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendyAdams View Post

Actually, your statements are incorrect.  Unvaccinated people are most definitely responsible for the whooping cough epidemics.  However, many people look at this as meaning 'those vaccinated as children', whereas the whooping cough immunisation wanes over time and anyone who has gone 10 years without an update is effectively unvaccinated.   Much of the whooping cough that is spread around is done so by people who do not understand the requirement to get boosters.

 

And ...the disease is changing, the vaccine is not effective enough, the disease is diagnosed more at the moment due to awareness (it used to be almost impossible to get a diagnosis of pertussis "as vaccines prevented it.")

 

 

As someone who has a friend who lost her 6 week old baby to whooping cough this year, having most likely given him the whooping cough herself (nearly 40% of whooping cough is small babies is passed by the mother who doesn't even know she has whooping cough), I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that we adults keep our immunisation up to date for the sake of all those little babies, to young to be immunised.

 

Are you in Australia?

 

It looks like there have been 8 deaths in infants since 2008 from pertussis (much of which might be unavoidable even if every single person was up to date on vaccines, due to low efficacy (55-80%) plus the reasons listed in blue above).   I am sad for your loss.  Infants do die sometimes - sometimes they die or are harmed from VAD's and sometimes they die or are harmed  from vaccines. 


Edited by kathymuggle - 12/25/12 at 8:44am
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendyAdams View Post

Actually, your statements are incorrect.  Unvaccinated people are most definitely responsible for the whooping cough epidemics.  However, many people look at this as meaning 'those vaccinated as children', whereas the whooping cough immunisation wanes over time and anyone who has gone 10 years without an update is effectively unvaccinated.   Much of the whooping cough that is spread around is done so by people who do not understand the requirement to get boosters.

 

Yes, there is a lack of information in the mainstream media about how quickly immunity from vaccines wear off.  Much of the "vaccine education" money gets spent trying to bully people who made an educated choice not to vaccinate into changing their minds instead of focusing educating people. 

 

You're overestimating the effectiveness of the vaccine, and underestimating the adaptability of the bacteria involved.  Even if everybody vaccinated, and everybody kept up with their boosters, the effectiveness of the the pertusis vaccine would still be declining due to the adaptability of the disease.   

 

This issue gets a little bogged down with the anti vaccination crowd trying to tell us a lot of phurphies about whooping cough, but there is a very simple reality .. in areas where immunisation is low, the instance of the disease is high.  In areas where immunisation is high, the instance of the disease is low.  Vaccination is effective for whooping cough as long as we seek out our boosters.  This is clearly seen in Australia where the home of the anti vaccination network is and the instance of immunisation is low and instance of whooping cough is high.

 

There may be a large difference in the rate of pertusis diagnosis between high vaccination areas and low vaccination areas but that is not the same as having a large difference in infection rates.  I have no doubt that there is some difference in the infection rate, but in order to get an accurate number, you'd have to bloodtest a lot of people, including apparently healthy people and people who think they just have a cold or alergies.

 

As someone who has a friend who lost her 6 week old baby to whooping cough this year, having most likely given him the whooping cough herself (nearly 40% of whooping cough is small babies is passed by the mother who doesn't even know she has whooping cough), I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that we adults keep our immunisation up to date for the sake of all those little babies, to young to be immunised.

 

That is very sad. 

post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

Are you in Australia?

 

It looks like there have been 8 deaths in infants since 2008 from pertussis (much of which might be unavoidable even if every single person was up to date on vaccines, due to low efficacy (55-80%) plus the reasons listed in blue above).   I am sad for your loss.  Infants do die sometimes - sometimes they die or are harmed from VAD's and sometimes they die or are harmed  from vaccines. 

 

Yes, i'm in Australia and yes it is tragic.

 

I cannot find a single child in Australia that has died of vaccine injury due to scheduled vaccination, indeed  the anti vaccination lobby group here told us there were 700, recently they downgraded that figure to 28 in the last 20 years, yet they are unable to name a single one and there is no media report of a single instance.   So sorry, while I don't disagree that there is risk to vaccination, deaths due to vaccination cannot be considered to be in the same scale as deaths due to disease.    

post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

 

Yes, there is a lack of information in the mainstream media about how quickly immunity from vaccines wear off.  Much of the "vaccine education" money gets spent trying to bully people who made an educated choice not to vaccinate into changing their minds instead of focusing educating people. 

 

You're overestimating the effectiveness of the vaccine, and underestimating the adaptability of the bacteria involved.  Even if everybody vaccinated, and everybody kept up with their boosters, the effectiveness of the the pertusis vaccine would still be declining due to the adaptability of the disease.   

 

There may be a large difference in the rate of pertusis diagnosis between high vaccination areas and low vaccination areas but that is not the same as having a large difference in infection rates.  I have no doubt that there is some difference in the infection rate, but in order to get an accurate number, you'd have to bloodtest a lot of people, including apparently healthy people and people who think they just have a cold or alergies.

 

That is very sad. 

 

It's interesting how those who oppose vaccination tend to quickly move to emotive rhethoric.   I would like to see an instance of "vaccine education" money being used to bully parents into vaccinating, if I asked would you supply it?    In New South Wales in Australia they are about to embark on better education for parents as the majority of parents who do not vaccinate do so out of ignorance rather than an objection to vaccination.  It is important that people are armed with the facts, not the misinformation plied by the anti vaccination lobby groups.  People need to understand the real risks and the real benefits, in order to make an informed choice.   The term bullying infers people are forced into decisions and that simply isn't the case.  When I chose not to immunise (the MMR) I was not bullied, or punished, or spoken down to.  I was given the information to further study and that was all. 

 

I am over estimating nothing, the vaccines are effective.  It's my experience that the anti vaccination crowd apply theory that if it isn't 100% effective, it's ineffective and that's not true.  History and current comparison between countries shows us that vaccination is an effective way of minimising the impact of these diseases.    If everyone were vaccinated against whooping cough the disease would have died out, it's the waning vaccination that has allowed the current situation to  occur.  That and the fact that the whooping cough immunisation isn't as effective as the previous one, it was changed because there were too many reactions to it.   Big Pharma changed something to improve safety, that's a concept many will not accept.

 

Yes, it's tragic that any child has to die due to a vaccine preventable disease in this day and age.  More so for my friend as she believes that she infected her own son on the first day she was allowed to see him out of NICU and she had discussed being vaccinated before he was born and wasn't made aware of the risk, there are too many people out there who minimise or discount the risk.

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