The pertussis vaccine definitely mitigates the severity of the disease...instead of facing the illness or a possibly a month or more, you end up with cold like symptoms for a week. you also get total prevention of symptoms in many.
Sure, death is most common under the age of 1 (under 6 months usually actually) but the disease can be very unpleasant with turning blue/puking/cracking ribs/etc as well as a pretty high risk of pneumonia. It's also a prolonged illness. For these reasons, we do the vaccine.
Hib is also still dangerous to kids over 2. Many of the hib deaths last year came in kids who were 2.5, 3, 4 and even a 5 year old. Besides death, meningitis, pneumonia, and the like are also possible with invasive hib disease.
we feel these are two important vaccines for our fam.
"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen Martial arts instructor and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)