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True or False: There are more vaccinated pertussis cases than unvaccinated

May 14, 2012

Short answer:

True.

Long answer:

True, but if you use this as a platform for your anti-vaccination beliefs, you are either intentionally misleading people or do not fully understand the data.

Longer answer:

Hi reader. In the face of a massive pertussis outbreak in the state of Washington, antivaxxers are up to their old tricks of misusing information to spread an incorrect message.   Of late, all over the anti-vax world I am seeing repeated assertions that “the rate” of pertussis is greater in vaccinated than unvaccinated people, and that this means that 1) vaccines don’t work or even 2) that vaccines cause pertussis. Therefore, the following post is my public service message. I know you were told there would be no math, but we are definitely going to need a little math for the post today.

Recently at this very blog, a poster provided this link as proof that “whooping cough outbreaks are HIGHER among vaccinated children”, and “The…link CLEARLY indicates that pertussis rates are higher in vaccinated children”. In the linked article, it states:

Of the 132 [pertussis] patients under age 18, 81 percent were up to date on recommended whooping cough shots and eight percent had never been vaccinated. The other 11 percent had received at least one shot, but not the complete series.

Proof that the poster is right, right? Wrong. Not even close. Here is the statistical explanation for why the poster is wrong, even though 81% of the pertussis cases were up-to-date on their boosters according to the guidelines at the time. In short, the issue is simple. No vaccine is perfect. And there are far more people who are vaccinated than who are not–for now, at least.

The article linked by the poster was in regard to the 2010 California pertussis outbreak, in which 10 infants died. At that time, approximately 93.1% of kindergarteners had received their pertussis vaccination. To be conservative, we will therefore assume that 93% of Californians under age 18 had been vaccinated for pertussis and that 7% had not. I will now use a hypothetical example with nice round numbers to illustrate the problem with stating that the rate of pertussis was higher in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children.

Immanuel Pfeiffer Middle School has 1000 students enrolled. The students are vaccinated at the same rate as the rest of California (93%); therefore, 930 students are vaccinated and 70 are not. There is an outbreak of pertussis at IPMS, with 100 cases. Of these, 81% of the cases are vaccinated (n=81), and 19% are unvaccinated (n=19).  The question, then, is what is the rate of pertussis in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated students?

The rate for vaccinated students is: 81/930=8.7%

The rate for unvaccinated students is 19/70=27.1%

It seems to be pretty clear that the rate of pertussis is far higher in unvaccinated students than in vaccinated students. After this simple explanation using real-world data, I fully expect anti-vaxxers to understand just how wrong they are when they use data regarding number of pertussis cases who have been vaccinated to erroneously assert that vaccines “don’t work”.  Like anything else related to human beings, vaccines aren’t perfect…but they do substantially reduce the risk of disease. Boosters are necessary, and the more people who understand that, the greater the protection for the entire community.

From → vaccines

160 Comments
  1. I have yet to find an antivaxer who makes the “more vaxed in an outbreak” claim that manages to understand the math when explained to them. It’s really sad.

    • Aww, don’t I know it, COVRAC. But as I’ve said, I am the eternal optimist!

    • Try this, with made-up numbers, to make the math “so easy, a 5th grader can understand it”. :-)

      You have a population of 1,000,002 people. Of those, 1,000,000 are vaccinated and 2 are not. You have a breakout of 101 cases of the disease, of which 100 are vaccinated and 1 was not.

      “Clearly”, the anti-vaxxer says, “you have an infection rate 100 times higher in the vaccinated group than in the non-vaccinated group”.

      “No”, you reply, “the infection rate in the vaccinated population is 0.01% while the rate among the non-vaccinated is 50%, meaning the non-vaccinated group has an infection rate 5000 times as high.”

      At that point, if they still insist the infection rate among the vaccinated is 100 times as high, either (1) they’re lying, or (2) they’re the reason fast-food registers have pictures of the menu items, and make the change for you.

    • Don permalink

      It’s not even hard! You don’t even need to use actual numbers. “Whoops, you’re looking at the percentage of people with pertussis who are vaccinated. What you really need to look at is the percentage of people who are vaccinated who have pertussis.” What the hell is wrong with people?

    • John is doing an excellent job down there of demonstrating my point.

  2. VSS permalink

    Can you redo your calculations based on the following news article: http://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20120509/NEWS/705099959/1051&ParentProfile=1001http:/bit.ly/IZiRpH

    TIA

    • No. First, I don’t see a number of vaxxed/unvaxxed who have the disease in the article that you linked. Second, as demonstrated in the link I used in the original post, middle school seems to be when the vaccine may lose efficacy. Therefore, even if all cases were vaxxed, it’s not proof of anything other than the fact that boosters are required. This little fact was unknown before the latest outbreaks of pertussis, driven in part by the hordes who refuse to vaccinate, and now boosters are being recommended. Science marches on, while anti-vaxxers stay rooted in the 17th century.

  3. I live in WA state. In my county, Whatcom, and the two counties south of me, we have 10% of kindergartners with vaccine exemptions on file. 10%! And we are the three hardest hit counties in this epidemic. Coincidence? Absolutely not. I am a bit freaked out by this and waiting for measles to come back, too.

    • Gosh, I don’t blame you. I was hoping that the exemption law change would have some immediate effect, but maybe we’ll have to wait a year or so to see something. Or maybe it won’t work at all.

    • Julie permalink

      @Kathy – I live in Washington state as well and have been doing what I can, mainly through social networking, to provide accurate reliable information about the epidemic and the issue of high exemption rates. As a volunteer parent advocate for Vax NW I encourage you to look at their website and use it to spread the word with your friends about the problem and what can be done about it: http://www.vaxnorthwest.org/ You can like within reach on facebook for more information too.

      What I find really alarming is that in Washington state daycare centers and other places like preschools licensed by the state are not requiring but simply encouraging daycare workers to get the Tdap – even those that care for newborns! I had this confirmed by the Washington State Child care referral network today via a facebook post. What? How does that make sense? Three hours later this was posted so I guess progress: http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/immunize/documents/childcareproviders.pdf Anyone who hires a nanny or a sitter should be asking about this – my next step is to rattle those cages too…

    • Elizabeth permalink

      Measels will come back BECAUSE of the people not vaccinating their children

  4. Angela permalink

    True. And I’m glad someone has pointed it out. Unfortunately, I was hoping it would be an anti-vaxxer who made this point, because there are still plenty of reasons NOT to vaccinate. I do not deny that the vaccine provides some protection from the disease. BUT there are so many other sides to this coin! How do the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated kids handle the disease? What are the differences in their overall health? Does a vaccinated child who gets whooping cough reap the same life long benefits of having it? Are the vaccinated children the ones spreading pertussis when their body is shedding the vaccine? What would the rates look like if the vaccine didn’t even exist? There are SO many factors that are never taken into account. Simply having a lower risk of contracting the one disease you are vaccinating for is not enough reason, in and of itself, to inject a child with a syringe full of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and components that have never been tested for safety.

    • Anti-vaxxers have made this point, many times. Unfortunately they have misused the information in order to manipulate people. You claim that all of the factors you listed are “never taken into account”. You could not be more wrong. In fact, a lot if not all of your questions have already been answered by scientists. You may not like the answers though. In addition, describing a pertussis vaccine as a “syringe full of toxic chemicals…” advertises your fallacious belief system about vaccines.

    • Chris permalink

      Angela:

      Does a vaccinated child who gets whooping cough reap the same life long benefits of having it?

      Even if you get pertussis and feel like you are coughing up a lung for three months, the immunity can wane as soon as four years. Like most bacterial infections, there is no life-long immunity. Remember that just like getting a strep throat does not prevent you from getting it again a week later, getting and surviving diphtheria or tetanus also does not give you immunity. Go to PubMed and look up:
      Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2005 May;24(5 Suppl):S58-61.
      Duration of immunity against pertussis after natural infection or vaccination.

      Are the vaccinated children the ones spreading pertussis when their body is shedding the vaccine?

      No. The vaccine is made from just some parts of the bacteria. The “a” in DTaP stands for attenuated. It cannot be shed. If you have evidence to the contrary, please post the title, journal and date of the PubMed indexed journal showing that pertussis is commonly “shed” from DTaP vaccination.

      What would the rates look like if the vaccine didn’t even exist?

      What if we stopped vaccinating for pertussis:

      Before pertussis immunizations were available, nearly all children developed whooping cough. In the U.S., prior to pertussis immunization, between 150,000 and 260,000 cases of pertussis were reported each year, with up to 9,000 pertussis-related deaths.

      It references this paper: Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story

      It is a common anti-vax lie to claim that Japan stopped vaccinating for pertussis and the levels of SIDS went down. As explained in that paper that in the 1970s that they did suspend vaccination for those under age two. But SIDS did not go away, and over forty babies died from pertussis. Since they had not been vaccinated with pertussis, there was no way to blame the vaccine.

      Does this answer your questions?

      • Thanks Chris for this most excellent comment!

      • Angela permalink

        Chris, the PubMed exerpt you posted did not give data for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated immunity. I made that comment in reference to the idea that, even when a vaccinated person DOES contract the disease, the immunity benefits they reap from having it will be incomplete due to the former manipulation of their immune system by an altered version of the virus.

        I did not ask what would happen if we stopped vaccinating for pertussis. I asked what it would look like if the vaccine had never existed. It’s a question we will never know the answer to. Vaccines started coming onto the market around the same time we started getting good with plumbing, sanitation, and nutrition. I attribute most of the decline of diseases to those factors. Other diseases and ailments, however, have been on the rise since the advent of vaccines. Of course, it is impossible to pinpoint a single reason why as things have changed so rapidly in the last 100 years, but I think vaccines certainly play a role in the modern day ailments our society suffers from. I found this study rather interesting, though not firmly conclusive. http://healthfreedoms.org/2011/10/14/big-study-vaccinated-kids-2-5-more-diseases-than-unvaccinated/

        I did not mention SIDS, but since you brought it up, I feel I should note that SIDS is specifically mentioned as one of the possible side effects on the manufacturer’s insert for the DTaP vaccine. Also, the US has a very high rate of SIDS, much higher than most other first world countries, and higher than even some second and third world countries. We also provide more vaccinations and other medical interventions for infants than any other country. Perhaps it’s a coincidence…. but I see too many coincidences to be comfortable with the safety of vaccines.

        • I made that comment in reference to the idea that, even when a vaccinated person DOES contract the disease, the immunity benefits they reap from having it will be incomplete due to the former manipulation of their immune system by an altered version of the virus.

          Got any data to support your idea? The evidence actually supports the opposite conclusion.

          I did not ask what would happen if we stopped vaccinating for pertussis. I asked what it would look like if the vaccine had never existed. It’s a question we will never know the answer to.

          Then why did you ask the question? This type of “argument” is neither clever nor original. Incidentally, no scientist worth his/her salt is going to argue that sanitation does not aid in the prevention of disease. The study you cite is not worth addressing; it has been established as garbage and if you take a step back and look at it objectively, you would see that as well.

          I did not mention SIDS, but since you brought it up, I feel I should note that SIDS is specifically mentioned as one of the possible side effects on the manufacturer’s insert for the DTaP vaccine.

          More misinterpretation. Inserts are being misused by anti-vaxxers who do not understand reporting of adverse events. Perhaps a child died of SIDS after receiving DTaP. This does not in any way indicate that DTaP caused SIDS.

        • Chris permalink

          Angela, that “study” was a self-selected internet survey done by a homeopath. The results are the opposite of scientific. You don’t even need to take a basic course in statistics to know that internet polls are useless. Though, at least it was not pharyngulated.

        • Jon permalink

          Thank you, Angela, for all of your well-thought out comments. Still waiting for a study of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated…even though every doctor on earth knows the un-vaxxed are far healthier and far less of a drain on healthcare systems in every 1st world nation on earth…

          Go to [no, I don't think so, spam for idiotic sites not allowed...edit by SkewedD] for some insights into the 24/7 care of vaccine-injured children and some videos from the recent ASD conference in Chicago.

          ASD diagnoses are on the rise in Oz. Let’s find out what helps these kids get better.

          Cheers!

        • Every doctor on earth “knows” that the unvaxxed are far healthier than the vaxxed? Got some data for ANY portion of that statement?

        • Chris permalink

          Jon:

          Still waiting for a study of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated

          Then get the organizations that keep saying that study needs to be done and have them pay for it. SafeMinds has funded scientific studies in the past, and Generation Rescue paid for a very poorly executed phone survey.

          What you need to do is to design a study that abides by the rules of set here:
          http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.html

          Then apply for a grant from entities like SafeMinds, Generation Rescue, Autism Trust, Autism Speaks, the Australian Vaccine Network, NVIC, etc to fund the study. Then get to work getting a good random sample (not a self selected internet survey) and doing the work getting all of the data (not an automated phone call). Write up the study and get it published. We all look forward to the day you publish those results in a good high impact journal. Since there are several who have said they want that study, you may not have to do it alone, just look for other folks demanding that information in blog comment to collaborate with you.

          If you and your friends really want that study, and go and do it!

          Until then you will just have to be satisfied with the over two dozen large epidemiological studies that show no connection between autism and vaccine, many that use the Vaccine Safety Datalink, plus this study from Germany: Vaccination Status and Health in Children and Adolescents.

      • I know this is just a misspeak on Chris’s part, but the a in DTaP is “acellular,” not “attenuated.”. The vaccine does not contain anything live, and cannot shed, as Chris said.

        Angela:

        ” Perhaps it’s a coincidence…. but I see too many coincidences to be comfortable with the safety of vaccines.”

        I am curious how, in a world of seven billion people, one determines how many coincidences are “too many.”. Short of going to actual scientific studies of course, such as the ones that show us that these things (vaccines and autism, for example) are in fact coincidences.

        • Whoops, i see that Antonio corrected the acellular error below. Sorry ’bout that!

        • No worries dude, thanks for stopping by.

        • Is it a coincidence that sales of ipods are directly correlated with autism diagnoses? Hmmm. Probably…but someone’s going to have to prove to me that ipods do NOT cause autism.

        • I find a more powerful correlation between autism rates and the graphics resolution of home console gaming. :)

    • Tsu Dho Nimh permalink

      “Are the vaccinated children the ones spreading pertussis when their body is shedding the vaccine? ”

      You apparently have not researched the issue. The DPT vaccine contains ZERO live bacteria and ZERO whole dead bacteria. It has fragments of the cell wall of Bordetella pertussis, and denatured toxins from diphtheria and tetanus bacteria.

      There is nothing to “shed”.

  5. The exemption law is probably doing nothing. People can get a signature from any licensed doc, including naturopaths. So, I bet it is doing nothing. Time will tell.

    • Julie permalink

      I agree the law needs more teeth(read about it here: http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/immunize/schools/exemption-FAQ.htm#require but we have seen a slight dip already so hopefully things will get better: http://www.doh.wa.gov/Publicat/2012_news/12-061.htm If the law’s impact is anemic you can probably blame the fact naturopaths can sign off on it and it only impacts kids entering the system. Right now, even daycare workers in charge of newborns are not required by any DOH or licensoing agency to be vaccinated it is simply being “encouraged” http://www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/immunize/documents/childcareproviders.pdf

      • I was glad to see that vaccine exemptions are going down in Washington. It’s a shame that resistance to vaccination set the stage for the awful pertussis epidemic there.

        • Thomas D permalink

          Since you are such an expert on this subject, perhaps you can explain just exactly what the correlation is in unvaccinated children allegedly causing increases and decreases in the number of cases such as in Washington? Why does the number of cases fluctuate? How exactly does an unvaccinated child infect a vaccinated child? Why are vaccinated children becoming infected? How do you know the unvaccinated are infecting the vaccinated? What is the percentage of the vaccine’s protection? How long does the protection last? Do the vaccines cause damage in children? If so, at what rate and at what severity? What is the risk in taking the vaccine compared to risking the disease? What are the long-term risks of the vaccine? Do you not know that the protection of the vaccine is only at about 50% and quickly wanes after? Do you not know that the long-term protection benefits of the vaccine have never been studied? Why do you condesend someone for pointing out that the risk of SIDS is listed on the vaccine brochure? Why is it listed there? You seem to think you have all the answers but you do not. Here is the bottom line question, can you assure that a child would not be harmed from the vaccine and would be protected against becoming infected? The answer is, no you cannot. As smart as you think you are, you do not know the risks involved so why don’t you keep your smugness to yourself?

        • I don’t know why I bother to answer. Thomas obviously thinks he already has all of the answers, and I claims that I cannot address his questions. Thomas–despite knowing that this will be a colossal waste of time, I have answered your questions. The fact that you will not like my answers in no way renders these answers invalid. And if you have the cojones to come back, I might have a few questions for you.

          perhaps you can explain just exactly what the correlation is in unvaccinated children allegedly causing increases and decreases in the number of cases such as in Washington

          I do not understand what you mean by this question.

          Why does the number of cases fluctuate

          As you surely know, pertussis rates fluctuate from year to year due to natural 3-5 year cycling; however, the question is whether, when accounting for these cycles, there is an increasing trend in pertussis. And the answer seems to be yes, particularly in states with lax vaccine exemption laws.

          How exactly does an unvaccinated child infect a vaccinated child?

          This is only part of the question. The question is, how do the unvaccinated spread disease? The answer is: 1) They infect those too young or unable to be vaccinated; 2) As we have recently learned, the pertussis vaccine wanes in the middle-school years, requiring a booster; 3) vaccines do not work equally well for every single person; and therefore 4) The unvaccinated contribute to a breakdown in herd immunity.

          Why are vaccinated children becoming infected?

          See above.

          How do you know the unvaccinated are infecting the vaccinated?

          I cannot prove that a particular unvaccinated child infected a vaccinated child…yet. But the fact remains that in areas of high exemptions, there are higher pertussis rates. A logical person would be able to see the connection here.

          What is the percentage of the vaccine’s protection? How long does the protection last?

          I don’t understand the first question…I think you are referring to efficacy. See rates in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated in the blog post that you are commenting under, if you bothered to read it. Protection seems to last up to middle school, when a booster is now recommended.

          Do the vaccines cause damage in children? If so, at what rate and at what severity?

          There is a non-zero risk of a severe adverse event with the currently used pertussis vaccination. However, the risk of getting pertussis is much greater. I cannot give you a single figure, because your risk of getting pertussis will vary by the number of unvaccinated in your neighborhood/community.

          What is the risk in taking the vaccine compared to risking the disease?

          There is no comparison, except in anti-vaxxers’ brains. The risk of being unvaccinated far outweighs the risk of being vaccinated, and is beginning to have adverse social consequences as laws begin to change and people become more aware of the dangers posed by their neighbors who refuse to vaccinate.

          What are the long-term risks of the vaccine?

          None documented; in fact, DTaP and TDap seem to protect the recipient from some chronic diseases.

          Do you not know that the protection of the vaccine is only at about 50% and quickly wanes after

          Oh, geez, I’ve been hoodwinked. I already answered this question. 50% protection for my kids sounds great to me, thanks! And they will be getting their boosters.

          Do you not know that the long-term protection benefits of the vaccine have never been studied

          They are studied every single day. They are being studied right now. This is how we found out that protection wanes in middle school and that adults should get a booster. This is how a bad rotavirus vaccine got pulled off the shelves. And this is how we know that those who received diphtheria and tetanus vaccine have a lower risk for MS.

          Why do you condesend someone for pointing out that the risk of SIDS is listed on the vaccine brochure? Why is it listed there?

          I “condescend” to people who talk about “package inserts” because they do not understand them–and this apparently includes you. In fact, pertussis vaccination appears to be associated with a lower risk for SIDS in some studies. When conditions appear in package inserts, the reason is that they may have been reported to have appeared after a child received a vaccine. HOWEVER, many conditions occur strictly by coincidence. Therefore, the question is whether there are a greater number of SIDS cases after a child had received pertussis vaccination as compared to the rate in the general population. There is no difference.

          Here is the bottom line question, can you assure that a child would not be harmed from the vaccine and would be protected against becoming infected?

          This quote really highlights your mindset. Neither I nor your pediatrician is an oracle. I cannot see the future. I cannot assure anyone that they will not die in a car wreck today, and there may be a slight non-zero risk associated with wearing a seatbelt, so shall I tell you not to wear a seatbelt? Not likely. All that I can say is that there is no question in any rational person’s mind that the risk of not receiving pertussis vaccine outweigh any risks, real or imagined, associated with the vaccine. And you, like many others in the quest to “prove” that pertussis vaccine doesn’t work, have utterly forgotten about diphtheria, another disease against which the vaccine protects.

          Regardless, here is a thought experiment. Imagine that your daughter is getting married in a country far away from where you live. The benefits of buying a plane ticket include the joy of seeing your daughter marry the love of her life and the opportunity to have an adventure in a different country. However, there is a non-zero risk of your airplane crashing and you and other family members dying in a huge fireball on the way there. What to do, what to do? I know! Demand that the pilot guarantee you that you will not be harmed and that you will arrive at your destination safely (and of course on time as well, and with a full can of soda, notjustacupthankyouverymuch), or you are NOT getting on that plane! Sadly, you will receive no guarantee. Yet you will still go to the wedding despite this lack of a guarantee, because to do otherwise would reveal your irrational and selfish fear and preclude you from attending your daughter’s wedding. Life is full of risks. The question is: which actions should we take to help our children, our community, and ourselves?

      • yes I agree that fact that naturopaths can sign off on it is part of what is enabling people to still not vax. I really think we just need to do away with philosophical exemptions all together.

  6. Well, well, well… It seems that great minds think alike. I used a very similar example on Todd W.’s blog, in a comment, and then I found this today at the History of Vaccines blog: http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/blog/pertussis-epidemic-washington-state

    Epidemiologists, Assemble!

  7. Antonio permalink

    DTaP: “a” means acellular. This is not an attenuated vaccine; it is IMPOSSIBLE to get pertussis from the vaccine since only a few proteins of the bacteria are present. These proteins are enough to elicit an immune response on the host.

    Angela, pertussis kills people. Babies die from it. The vaccine is safe and effective (about 75 – 80%), and it’s is not me who says that…. It’s science.

  8. Angela permalink

    Actually, when I said “true” I was referring to your analysis of the numbers. I know statistics don’t make sense to everyone, but it drives me crazy when people misuse terms and numbers based on those misunderstandings! I studied actuarial science with the mind of becoming an actuary before I had my first child and decided I’d rather be a mom. :) Anyway, the simple fact that 93% were vaccinated, but only 81% of the pertussis victims had been vaccinated shows that the RATE of infection was higher among the unvaccinated. That, as far as I’m concerned, is beside the point, however. My reasons for choosing not to vaccinate are many, even though I know they do offer some protection from the disease. I will not go into any of those reasons because you speak like someone who has already made up his mind.

    I will, however, list the ingredients in the pertussis vaccine. There are several varieties of the vaccine, but this is the one I think my children would be receiving.
    Corynebacterium diphtheriae
    Clostridium tetani, toxoids and acellular
    Bordetella pertussis, adsorbed
    aluminum potassium sulfate
    formaldehyde
    thimerosal (containing mercury)
    polysorbate 80 (Tween-80)
    gelatin
    bovine extract, US sourced

    I understand the disease components that have to be in there, but aluminum potassium sulfate, formaldehyde, mercury, and polysorbate 80? These things were never meant to be injected into our bloodstream! Yes, many heavy metals are present in your body naturally, but there is such a delicate balance of these things, and they keep adding more and more shots to the vaccine schedule. Your body cannot simply rid itself of excess metals. Also, the bovine extract has never been tested for safety. They need a host to grow the disease on, so every vaccine contains animal components. At least THIS one doesn’t have the human fetal cells in it. I could have all the faith in the world in the efficacy and safety of vaccines, but you would never convince me to inject fetal cells from aborted humans into my child. Aside from that, it is well known that when the body detects DNA different to its own, it attacks that DNA. Is it a coincidence that we’re seeing such a rise in autoimmune diseases, in which the body is attacking itself? If we’re injecting foreign DNA into our bloodstreams, perhaps it is not so coincidental.

    • Yes, I have already made up my mind Angela, based on scientific evidence. And you have already made up your mind, based on misinterpretations. If you want to go on and on with spreading misinformation, please provide peer-reviewed references to support any of your claims. ANY of them. I will not accept links from whale.to, natural news, mercola, tenpenny, or any other quacktitioner. Perhaps you can start with a list of vaccines that are “injected into the bloodsteam”.

      • I am still waiting to meet one single intelligent antivaxer. Just one!

        Can anyone here report seeing an antivaxer explain their beliefs without resorting to bad maths (as in the % infection rate example above), misunderstanding of basic chemistry including dilutions (homeopaths: I’m looking at you) or logical fallacies (again, correlation does not equal causation. *Sigh*) ?

        I doubt it. I’ve been looking for the mythical “educated antivaxer” for a very long time without success.

        Forget SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), what we need now is a new program that we can call SAVI: Search for an Anti Vaxer that’s Intelligent. I don’t like the odds of success though…

        • This wasn’t the post I was expecting from Meryl Dorey. ;)

          Thanks for stopping by, and count me in on SAVI.

        • jessica permalink

          A study in 2004 done by the cdc reported that parents who do not vaccinate were mostly white, mothers with a college degree married and with an income of 75k a year…. We are very educated and have seen first hand the damage vaccines have done to our children. We only are protecting them from ANOTHER near death experience by not continuing to vaccinate.

        • I am not sure of your point about anti-vaxxers being “mostly white”?

        • Chris permalink

          So what? Where is your degree in immunology? Or epidemiology?

          Just because you attended college does not mean you have the education to evaluate vaccines, and are immune from confirmation bias. Or even immune from lapses in your own memory, especially when missing signs of autism at an earlier age than the alleged “vaccine injury.”

          The Cedillos were college educated, but the videos that they provided for the first of the three Autism Omnibus test cases showed their daughter had issues long before they were aware of them. You can find links to the testimony here:
          http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/189/

          Also, even being educated enough to get a Nobel Prize does not make someone immune to logic and reality. It even has a name: Nobel Disease. See:
          http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/luc-montagnier-and-the-nobel-disease/
          and
          http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/beware-the-nobel-laureate-argument-from-authority/

  9. Angela permalink

    *sigh* Just because someone believes something you disagree with does not make them a quack. Nor do I believe everything I read from any given source. Finding a truly unbiased source willing to publish whatever results they find, even if the results pose a threat to their personal beliefs, is nearly impossible. When in doubt, follow the dollar. We anti-vaxxers must all be blindly following some nut who is manufacturing information to get uber-wealthy off vitamin C supplements. *eyeroll* The pharmaceutical industry, meanwhile, is rolling in billions of dollars, and that money goes a long way toward promoting their cause and ensuring their pockets stay well-lined.

    If vaccines are indeed safe and effective, where does the disagreement come from in the first place? Did someone randomly decide they hated getting shots and make up all sorts of imaginary reasons for not getting them, then somehow manage to spread these beliefs to all number of unsuspecting victims? Six years ago, I was firmly on YOUR side of the fence. When I got pregnant and my husband mentioned that he did not want our child vaccinated, I was horrified! I set out to find as much evidence as I could to convince him that we MUST vaccinate our dear boy. Instead, I found the opposite. As I’ve been studying vaccination since then, I’ve come across not only facts on paper, but people.

    My husband didn’t want our child vaccinated primarily because he personally knew two toddlers who developed autism after their 18 month shots. I wrote it off as coincidence. Since then, I’ve talked with countless parents who’ve had similar experiences, some mild, some more serious. The times I’ve posted things about vaccinating on my FB page, I’ve had FOUR friends comment that they used to vaccinate, but stopped after their children had a serious reaction. Not only that, but their unvaccinated kids are healthier. Every single firend I have with both vaccinated and unvaccinated kids says the latter are healthier. I know ONE vaccinated family with kids as healthy as ours, just one, and they live on a farm (I believe farm life is an amazing immunity booster in and of itself). I have other friends whose children have problems (random seizures, allergies, epilepsy, etc.) that developed immediately after vaccinations, but they still deny a connection. Maybe there’s not one. But maybe there is. And more importantly, if there IS a correlation, it will never be known because it wasn’t reported. Of every vaccine reaction I mentioned, only one has been properly reported to the doctor, who hopefully reported it to VAERS. It is very safe to assume that a great number of reactions go unreported (even the CDC is aware of that), which means the safety of these vaccines is improperly determined because the true numbers are unknown.

    • Just because someone believes something you disagree with does not make them a quack.

      Indeed. What makes them quacks is that they are quacks.

      We anti-vaxxers must all be blindly following some nut who is manufacturing information to get uber-wealthy off vitamin C supplements. *eyeroll*

      Right. Supplements come from the Tree of Kittens and Unicorns and Goodness and are Free! No profit there. Oh…oops.

      If vaccines are indeed safe and effective, where does the disagreement come from in the first place?

      From science denialism and the Dunning-Kruger effect. Anti-vax beliefs haven’t changed in 200 years.

      Every single firend I have with both vaccinated and unvaccinated kids says the latter are healthier.

      Fascinating anecdote. If we’re going to use anecdotes, do you post at Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children? That place is like a children’s hospital with all the illnesses they report.

      My husband didn’t want our child vaccinated primarily because he personally knew two toddlers who developed autism after their 18 month shots.

      I am sure that you and your husband now realize that vaccinations DO NOT cause autism.

      P.S. Chris and I are still waiting for references that back ANY of your assertions. Choose one of your claims, just to get started, and start providing some science. Until you can do that, I’m afraid this conversation is over. I’m willing to hear out anti-vaxxers until the loon factor becomes unmanageable. There are limits to my patience, which do not extend to “feelings” and “beliefs” and anecdotes. Gimme some data already.

    • Chris permalink

      When in doubt, follow the dollar.

      Good, then tell us exactly why it would be more cost effective to not vaccinate for pertussis, and to just treat the diseases. I gave you the numbers of what happened without vaccination, including a paper that compared countries that stopped pertussis vaccination with neighboring countries that continued to vaccinate. Just post the title, journal and dates of the PubMed indexed journal that show that treating pertussis with antibiotics and hospital care is more cost effective than preventing it.

      Then when you are done telling us how much money we will not be giving to Big Pharma for DTaP and Tdap vaccines, you can tell us how they are both more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Just post the title, journal and dates of the PubMed indexed papers to support your statements.

      And since you mentioned VAERS, could you be so kind to tell us what a person using the database must read and understand before entering it through the official website at http://vaers.hhs.gov/data/index ? Tell us in your words why it says “Please read the following statement on the limits of VAERS data. You MUST click on the box below to access the VAERS database.”

    • Elizabeth permalink

      Every child that I know that is not vaccinated are missing school A LOT due to being sick. At least once a month the parents are posting on facebook on how sick their kids are and yes this family I am refering to also lives on a farm and parents are against anything that is not natural, heck they dont even drink cows milk, goats milk is better I guess. Another family that is against vaccines and always has been, all three of her children have a form of autism and bipolar.. I also know someone who was exposed to whooping cough and now her lungs are VERY damaged. She is only in her 40s and will probably have to go on disability very soon, already has to miss a lot of work. As a respiratory Therapist, I see how whooping cough KILLS especially young kids. How would you feel when you are older and have to go on a ventilator or have a hole cut in your neck so you can breathe and find out at least the severity could have been avoided had it been your parents vaccinated you… The only vaccine, I have personally seen a reaction to is the Chicken Pox vaccine and this little girl I take care of got very sick with high fevers and broke out with chicken pox right after getting the vaccine and the doctor even said she got it because it is still a live vaccine.

  10. Just happened by this post. Skeweddistribution, I see that it is very difficult for you to interact politely with anyone who disagrees with your opinion. Maybe that works for you. Your quote by Poland and Jacobson in your post, “Dear Antivaxxer: Why I don’t care for you,” is pretty revealing: “Ultimately, society must recognize that science is not a democracy in which the side with the most votes or the loudest voices gets to decide what is right.” Because what we define as a scientific truth never changes, right?

    • Sigh. I interact very politely with people who disagree with my opinion by providing scientific references to demonstrate why my opinion may be incorrect. Thus far, no anti-vaxxer has been able to meet that simple criterion.

      Your strawman argument holds no water here. I have argued on this very page that science is continually changing as new information becomes available. What hasn’t changed is the anti-vax movement. How are things back in the 1800s, anyway?

      • Julie permalink

        I would add that the anti vax comments can get pretty rude. No nice way of accusing doctors of intentionally making kids sick to enrich their own bank accounts, parents that vaccinate are harming their children, government officials intentionally poisoning children – the list goes on.

  11. Chemmomo permalink

    What would you think about bringing back the whole cell pertussis vaccine?
    Because right now, at my house, I’m not sure the acellular one’s working.

    P.S. Related to the topic of this post: why is that they don’t understand they’ve asked the wrong question? Who cares about who did get sick? If you want to figure out if the vaccine worked, you need to count who did NOT get sick. And I think that fact needs to be put into the “short answer.”

    • I don’t think bringing back whole cell pertussis vaccine is a good idea. To me, the adverse events associated with that vaccine tip the risk/benefit ratio in the wrong direction. But I’m open for debate on this subject.

      As to the rest of your comment, we do have to consider who got sick when we calculate attack rates. But as you say, without the denominator, the count of cases is meaningless.

      • Antonio permalink

        Recently published commentary about this and other issues related with vaccine against pertussis. The author is James Cherry, one of the leading experts on this illness.

        Pediatrics 2012;129;968

        • Thanks Antonio, I will check that out. Do you have any thoughts on whole cell vaccine?

        • Chemmomo permalink

          Thank you from me too Antonio – when I have the 2 days to make the $12 worthwhile I too will get to reading.

        • That was quite an interesting article, Antonio. Per this conversation, I zeroed in on this comment:

          “An alternative would be to develop DTP vaccines with detoxified lipopolysaccharide (the cause of reactions to whole-cell vaccines)”.

          If I am reading this right, it suggests that one option would be going back to whole cell vaccine with a major modification to improve the safety profile. Whether this would be accepted by the public or not is, to me, a valid question. The article was excellent, thanks for sharing the reference.

  12. darwynnia permalink

    “Follow the money”

    Because ‘Big Alterna’ practitioners are the most altruistic folks on the planet. They’re not in it for the money at all, right?

    I mean, that’s why Joe Mercola lives in an affluent suburb of Chicago called South Barrington – which just happens to be in the top 100 most affluent suburbs in the entire nation? His poor house is only 5000+ square feet (what a hovel!), with nicely sculptured/manicured lawns and a large swimming pool….

    No… the supplement business is so very poor and so very threatened by ‘Big Pharma’ and their meaniehead overseers who insist upon regulation and quality control for all consumer products.

    It’s just so unfair that “THEY” want to regulate supplements and vitamins – I mean, NO ONE has ever died from too much Vitamin D, have they? http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/?o=3611 Oh wait.. they have.

  13. Mark permalink

    Angela said: “Aside from that, it is well known that when the body detects DNA different to its own, it attacks that DNA. Is it a coincidence that we’re seeing such a rise in autoimmune diseases, in which the body is attacking itself?”
    If the body is recognizing it as DNA different to its own, then it’s not attacking itself, is it? It’s attacking the foreign DNA. You don’t become part cow or part chicken if the DNA of those animals is injected into you. We are constantly getting other DNA in our bodies from the things we eat and handle and accidentally break our skin on. And have you ever had a cut or sore inside your mouth? Everyone who has ever had braces or a tooth pulled should have autoimmune diseases, if the DNA from their mouth bacteria and the food they eat was causing them any problems. I just don’t get this fear of DNA.

  14. jessica permalink

    Here’s some “scientific evidence” An acellular whooping cough vaccine actually enhances the colonization of Bordetella parapertussis in mice; pointing towards a rise in B. parapertussis incidence resulting from acellular vaccination, which may have contributed to the observed increase in whooping cough over the last decade. http://www.cidd.psu.edu/research/synopses/acellular-vaccine-enhancement-b.-parapertussis

    • Chris permalink

      Still, it is not as severe as pertussis. Just because the pertussis vaccine does not prevent a much milder disease does not mean you should not vaccinate. That is like skipping the MMR vaccine because it does not prevent Fifth Disease (another rash disease that is much milder than measles).

      There is active research in improving pertussis vaccination. But it is not as simple as you would think, especially since immunity from actually catching pertussis and coughing for three months confers immunity for as short as four years. Which is better than tetanus. If you survive tetanus there is still no immunity. Plus there is no such thing as herd immunity for tetanus since it is in the environment (see Philosophic objection to vaccination as a risk for tetanus among children younger than 15 years.). So you really want to have your child caught up their DTaP series, and make sure you have the Tdap when it is time for your tetanus booster.

      You need to come up with better reasons to not vaccinate than it does not work for a milder but related bacteria in mice. Perhaps in the future you should post the title, journal and dates of the PubMed index papers that show the DTaP and Tdap are more dangerous to humans than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Something with the same quality as Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story.

      • covrac permalink

        That is like skipping the MMR vaccine because it does not prevent Fifth Disease (another rash disease that is much milder than measles).

        Exactly. Or Roseola. I hope you don’t mind if I use that analogy in the future.

      • JESSICA permalink

        Well please go through and tell me EVVVVERYTHING YOU DISAGREE With, with ALL these studies, ONE by ONE since you are soooo consumed with attacking every statement. And NO YOU ARE DEF NOT POLITE. I had NO REASON TO SAY WHITE PEOPLE I WAS SAYING WHAT THE 2004 CDC study stated IDIOT. and to the person who said I missed signs of autism…… NEVER DID I SAY MY CHILD WAS AUTISTIC. another one of the beliefs yall ASSUME. Even though she did experience encephalopathy the day of the vaccines and held her head in pain and banged it in the tile floor screaming inconsolable for 6 weeks arching her back hour after hour. Let alone her 15 day post vaccination atypical measles illness HA! But nooooo dont listen to me, after all theres no such thing as vaccine injuries!

        and i think websites like

        http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/189/

        http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/luc-montagnier-and-the-nobel-disease/

        http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/beware-the-nobel-laureate-argument-from-

        ARE QUACK SITES. SEE I CAN SAY THE SAME THING AS YOU AND TOTALLLY BELIEVE IT.

        Please dissect and tell me evvvverything I dont know about why all these studies are wrong like you usually do! MOST ARE PUBMED. YOU HAVE PERMISSION NOT TO RESPOND TO THE ONES THAT ARENT PUBMED, I ALREADY SEE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THEM NO NEED TO REPEAT YOURSELF. ALTHOUGH I HOPE YOU DO SEE A PROBLEM WITH THE FDA STATING THAT THE CELL LINES ARE TUMOREGENIC. OH WAIT WHAT AM I THINKING YOU PROBABLY DONT GIVE A SHIT AND JUST “READ THE REST OF THE SITE”

        • “The odds of having a history of asthma was twice as great among vaccinated subjects than among unvaccinated subjects The odds of having had any allergy-related respiratory symptom in the past 12 months was 63% greater among vaccinated subjects than unvaccinated subjects” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10714532
        • Administration of thimerosal to infant rats increases overflow of glutamate and aspartate in the prefrontal cortex: protective role of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22015977
        • Lasting neuropathological changes in rat brain after intermittent neonatal administration of thimerosal. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21225508
        • Neonatal administration of thimerosal causes persistent changes in mu opioid receptors in the rat brain. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20803069
        • FEDERAL COURT CASE 28 page PDF document GO TO PAGE 27-28 THE MMR VACCINE ACTUALLY CAUSED BAILEYS PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER/AUTISM http://www.generationrescue.org/resources/vaccination/vaccine-related-court-cases/bailey-banks/
        • “Our data suggests that the current schedule of acellular pertussis vaccine doses is insufficient to prevent outbreaks of pertussis.” http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/13/cid.cis287.short
        • HIGH PITCHED SCREAMING AFTER VACCINATION {VERY COMMON}http://boards.babyzone.com/high-pitched-screaming-after-vaccines-t8348610.html
        THERE ARE OTHER UNINTENDED VIRUSES IN VACCINES AND WE HAVE SEEN THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN HERES 2 LINKS OF PROOF (THERE ARE MANY MANY MORE)
        • Investigations of porcine circovirus type 1 (PCV1) in vaccine-related and other cell lines. 011 Oct 26;29(46):8429-37. Epub 2011 Aug 9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21835219?dopt=Abstract
        • ABORTED FETAL CELLS- In some cases the cell lines that are used might be tumorigenic, that is, they form tumors when injected into rodents. Some of these tumor-forming cell lines may contain cancer-causing viruses that are not actively reproducing. Such viruses are hard to detect using standard methods. These latent, or “quiet,” viruses pose a potential threat, since they might become active under vaccine manufacturing conditions. http://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/scienceresearch/biologicsresearchareas/ucm127327.htm
        NO aborted DNA IS SAFE TO INJECT!!!!
        • “It is known from gene therapy studies that injected naked DNA can be transported to the brain (Wang et al. 2001); that improperly integrated therapeutic DNA has caused cancer in young children (Hacein-Bey-Abina et al. 2008); and that shorter DNA fragments have a higher probability of entering the nucleus [of the cells] (Lechardeur et al. 2002)”, noted Dr Theresa whose company recently received a $500,000 grant from the Murdock foundation for their research.

        • “Changepoint analysis of autism disorder demonstrates a temporal correlation with events associated with human DNA residuals in vaccines. The levels of residual DNA are well over FDA-recommended limits”, stated Dr Deisher.

        “Meruvax-II contains >140ng/vial ssDNA and >30ng/vial dsDNA, with average lengths of 215bp. Havrix contains >270ng/vial ssDNA and >30ng/vial dsDNA. The FDA-recommended amounts are 10ng/dose.”
        http://www.cogforlife.org/scpiautismstudypress.htm

        NOW THE FAMOUS LINE PROVAXERS USE “MERCURY ISNT IN VACCINES ANYMORE” EVEN THOUGH IT IS IN SOME (flu shots especially) WHO CARES ABOUT MERCURY LETS FOCUS ON THE ALUMINUM ADJUVANT.
        • Aluminum hydroxide injections lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration. ————————————“Possible causes of GWS include several of the adjuvants in the anthrax vaccine and others. The most likely culprit appears to be aluminum hydroxide. In an initial series of experiments, we examined the potential toxicity of aluminum hydroxide in male, outbred CD-1 mice injected subcutaneously in two equivalent-to-human doses. After sacrifice, spinal cord and motor cortex samples were examined by immunohistochemistry. Aluminum-treated mice showed significantly increased apoptosis of motor neurons and increases in reactive astrocytes and microglial proliferation within the spinal cord and cortex. Morin stain detected the presence of aluminum in the cytoplasm of motor neurons with some neurons also testing positive for the presence of hyper-phosphorylated tau protein, a pathological hallmark of various neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. A second series of experiments was conducted on mice injected with six doses of aluminum hydroxide. Behavioural analyses in these mice revealed significant impairments in a number of motor functions as well as diminished spatial memory capacity. The demonstrated neurotoxicity of aluminum hydroxide and its relative ubiquity as an adjuvant suggest that greater scrutiny by the scientific community is warranted.”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19740540
        • “The US childhood immunization schedule requires 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year, the most in the world, yet 33 nations have better IMRs. Using linear regression, the immunization schedules of these 34 nations were examined and a correlation coefficient of 0.70 (p < 0.0001) was found between IMRs and the number of vaccine doses routinely given to infants. When nations were grouped into five different vaccine dose ranges (12–14, 15–17, 18–20, 21–23, and 24–26), 98.3% of the total variance in IMR was explained by the unweighted linear regression model. These findings demonstrate a counter-intuitive relationship: nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates. Efforts to reduce the relatively high UNITED STATES INFANT MORTALITY RATE have been elusive. Finding ways to lower preterm birth rates should be a high priority. However, preventing premature births is just a partial solution to reduce infant deaths. A closer inspection of correlations between vaccine doses, biochemical or synergistic toxicity, and IMRs, is essential. All nations—rich and poor, advanced and developing—have an obligation to determine whether their immunization schedules are achieving their desired goals." http://het.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/05/04/0960327111407644.full.pdf+htm

        EVEN WITH THESE IM NOT CONVINCED ANNNNNYTHING COULD STOP YOU FROM BELIEVING IN VACCINE INJURIES AND THE RIGHT FOR A CHILD TO STOP. SO FORGIVE ME IF I NEVER LOOK AT THIS SITE AGAIN AND RESPOND TO YOUR NARCISSISTIC ATTITUDE. GOODBYE HAVE FUN WITH THOSE PERTUSSIS SHOTS!!!

        • Sigh.

          Why is it that every antivaxer seems to be a ranting, loony mouth-frothing nutter? There’s a very high correlation between mental imbalance and antivax beliefs. Hmm, interesting…

        • I think Dr. Gregory Poland agrees with you there. There are a number of cognitive and logical flaws that anti-vaxxers have in common.

        • Yay! Check it out reader! It’s comment-bombing at its best–a tried-and-true tactic of the anti-vax movement. Jessica is an excellent example of someone who cherry-picks information that looks scary, but doesn’t understand it herself, and then attempts to use it an argument, and then runs away because she knows she can’t defend her own post. If I thought that anything I would say might change Jessica’s mind, I would patiently address her comment bomb in detail. But it won’t, so here’s the short version.

          1. Regarding asthma, you pick one study and ignore all of the rest that show no association whatsoever between vaccination and asthma. This is a typical anti-vax strategy. Read this meta-analysis of ALL studies in humans. NO ASSOCIATION.

          Pediatrics. 2007 Nov;120(5):e1269-77.
          Is childhood vaccination associated with asthma? A meta-analysis of observational studies.
          Balicer RD, Grotto I, Mimouni M, Mimouni D.

          2. The next three references that you post are all studies alleging that vaccines somehow cause autism IN RATS. It has been demonstrated, at least to any mentally competent person, that vaccines DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM IN HUMANS. I’ve blogged about it here before. Further, the mercury compound used in rat studies is very often 1) NOT used in ANY vaccination; and 2) administered at doses that no human will ever encounter through vaccination.

          3. Bailey Banks’ case was NOT AUTISM. To imply otherwise is at least disingenuous if not outright lying.

          4. Yep, everyone needs a pertussis booster, which we have learned courtesy of the most recent outbreaks, which themselves are in part courtesy of those who don’t vaccinate.

          5. All of the “scary DNA” refs are irrelevant. You probably don’t understand why, but this is the reason you should not post things that you don’t understand.

          6. The last paper is a piece of garbage where the authors tried to hide their affiliations, got busted as anti-vaxxers, and had to publish an erratum explaining their conflict of interest. In addition, there is a teeny tiny problem with the paper in that it is strictly correlational in nature.

        • Chris permalink

          Wow on the last one. The correction is free to see:
          http://het.sagepub.com/content/30/9/1429

          It seems that Mr. Miller and Mr. Goldman have a small problem with honesty.

        • Great googly moogly. You know, I’ve seen a lot of crazy antivaccine literary techniques, but this is the first time I’ve seen excessively repeated consonants.

          YYYYYYOU ROCCCCCCCCCCK, SKEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWED!

        • LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

        • Good lord, you get some nuts here. Thank you for your intelligent, evidence-based breakdown of anti-vax arguments.

        • Yes, yes I do! But thank you for braving it and stopping by anyway.

        • What a pathetic attempt at a gish gallop from Jessica.

          I think I’ve just hit the AV-Bingo for the day.

          Cherry pick a study? Check
          Pick a study which isn’t based in humans? Check.

    • Chris permalink

      Here is a paper on humans: Imperfect vaccine-induced immunity and whooping cough transmission to infants. The parapertussis in only about ten percent of the identified cases.

      The conclusions include:

      However, the durations of immunity provided by the two vaccines are very similar [8], and therefore the change from whole cell to acellular vaccine is not likely the cause of the decrease in disease-free duration. We hypothesize that an elevated force of infection in recent years led to the reduction in time to infection after vaccination because of more frequent exposure.

      and:

      To achieve this goal teenagers, in whom vaccine-induced immunity has waned and who form the bulk of B. pertussis epidemics, need to receive boosters. Without creating vaccine-enhanced herd immunity in this highly gregarious age group, we should expect to continue to see pertussis epidemics even in regions with high vaccine coverage. Finally, with the increase in use of the acellular vaccine, it is important to have B. parapertussis surveillance in place and generate new research on the effects of various pertussis vaccines against B. parapertussis.

      I hope you have made sure to provide Tdap vaccination for yourself and your teenage children. Next Friday when I drag hubby to the doctor for a long overdue check up, all five in our family will have had the Tdap booster (kids got their Tdaps six years ago).

  15. John permalink

    It’s been awhile since I took a formal epidemiology course, so please forgive me, but I have a question:

    Let’s say that there is an elementary school with any given number of students. Now, let’s say that 100 students come down with pertussis. Of those, 81 were fully up-to-date on their vaccinations, but the other 19 had never been vaccinated. What percentage of those who got the disease were previously vaccinated, and what percentage were never vaccinated? 

    Here’s another one:

    Let’s say that in 2010, the California population was ~37 million. Let’s also say that the number of infants under 2 months of age was ~85,000. If 1 out of every 1,000 infants who are 2 months or less got the disease, but 999/1,000 did not, How likely is it that the cause of the outbreak is adults and older siblings who did not receive a booster vaccine?

    Thanks.

    • Hi John,

      First question: 81% of cases were previously vaccinated, and 19% of were unvaccinated, precisely as I described in my post. However, if you read my post in detail, you are aware that these numbers are actually meaningless. The question remains: what was the rate of pertussis in the vaccinated and unvaccinated? Answer: much higher in the unvaccinated.

      Second question: I am not clear on what you are asking. I cannot draw any conclusions from what you have written regarding transmission of the disease from adults or older sibs without a booster.

      • John permalink

        Regarding the first question, how can the total numbers of diseased be “meaningless”?

        Regarding the second question, the assumption lately has been that infants younger than 2 months of age are acquiring pertussis because of adults and older children who haven’t received a booster shot. The numbers, however, would seem to argue against it, as only a minority of that particular age group get pertussis to begin with.

        • Hi John,

          Let me put the ball in your court for a sec so that perhaps we can understand each other better. If you think that these numbers are meaningful, then what conclusions do you draw when you see that 81% of pertussis cases are vaccinated and 19% are unvaccinated?

          Next, I have to reiterate that in the example you presented, there are not sufficient data to draw a conclusion about transmission. Nonetheless recent data are showing very clearly that the protection of the pertussis vaccine wanes after ten years of age, supporting the concept that we need boosters in middle-schoolers and adults. Fortunately, very few babies actually get pertussis if you look at a simple count, because mercifully the disease is still relatively rare. These counts, in isolation, provide no information about transmission. But we can note that a newborn baby is most likely to have sibs who are under ten years of age and thus who are still in the protective bubble of efficacy for the pertussis vaccine, even without a booster.

          I hope this has clarified my reasoning and I look forward to your response.

        • It’s “meaningless” because you only give some of the numbers, skewed to make it look like 4 times as many vaccinated children got the disease as non-vaccinated. Let me fill in some numbers for the same of example.

          Suppose the unspecified “any number of students” was 1019, of whom 1000 were vaccinated and 19 were not . You have the same 81 cases among the vaccinated and 19 among the non-vaccinated. However, you have an 8.1% infection rate among the vaccinated, and a 100% infection rate among the non-vaccinated.

          So, given the same input (81 vaccinated children infected, 19 non-vaccinated children infected), you now have an infection rate more than 12 times as high among the non-vaccinated than the vaccinated.

          The only reasons to leave off the complete set of numbers (total population size, percent vaccinated versus non-vaccinated) are (1) lack of knowledge of statistics, or (2) a concerted effort to confuse people. For now, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and presume (1), but there are plenty of people in the (2) category.

        • John permalink

          Skewed,

          What conclusions can I make when 81/100 fully immunized children get the disease they’re bring vaccinated against? Well, for starters, the total number of diseased have been vaccinated. There is a question of efficacy. Even when unvaccinated numbers are high, other variables may or may not come into play (such as who may or may not have had more direct exposure to the “vector”). It’s generally assumed that every individual in a cohort have the same exposures. One has to wonder why any of the vaccinated are coming down with pertussis. Someone mentioned parapertussis being clinically milder. I’ll have to double check that, but I don’t remember that being the case. If so, however, the question of why the immunized are getting infected becomes even more pertinent.

          While rates have meaning, let me give an example of a different disease. Let’s say that there is a town of 1,000 people, and that 930 smoke, while 70 don’t. Let’s say 100 people come down with lung cancer. 81% of these smoke, while 19% don’t.

          So 27% of nonsmokers develop lung cancer, while only 8% of smokers do.  How confident are you in the rates? Any more so than with the pertussis examples? Why or why not? Could other variables be at play based on what we know about smoking and causation? Pardon me if I’m off on my math. Feel free to correct me. 

        • But John, 81/100 fully immunized children DID NOT get pertussis. Rather, 81/100 cases of pertussis were vaccinated. These are two completely and utterly different numbers. As shown in my blog post, only 8.7% of fully immunized children got pertussis. Please, read my original blog post which explains how your mistake in interpretation can easily be made, but is incorrect.

          We don’t have to wonder at all why any of the vaccinated are coming down with pertussis. It is because, as I said in my blog post, no vaccination is perfect. There will ALWAYS be someone for whom the vaccine doesn’t work, and unfortunately, pertussis vaccine is admittedly one of those for which vax rates need to be quite high to achieve herd immunity. And further, pertussis vaccine in particular has been shown to wane after 10 years of age. It is entirely accurate to say that efficacy should be improved, so should we be working on a better pertussis vaccine? Absolutely, and I assure you that this is occurring. But it remains undeniable that pertussis vaccine DOES confer protection from the disease.

          As for your smoking/lung cancer example, it is nonsensical, so I’m not confident of those data at all. When I did the pertussis vaccine example, I was using real-world data as documented by scientific data collection. In the real world, we KNOW that while almost 100% of lung cancer patients are smokers, only 15% of smokers get lung cancer. This is kind of tangential, but yet relevant, to what I am trying to get across here. While 81% of those with pertussis might be vaccinated, only 8.7% of the vaccinated get pertussis. While only 19% of those with pertussis are unvaccinated, 27% of the unvaccinated get pertussis. Where do you want to lay your odds?

        • John permalink

          Scratch that sentence “the total number of diseased have been vaccinated”.

          I obviously only meant 81/100.

  16. Elizabeth permalink

    This is kind of of topic but I keep reading the anti vaxx people talking about how mercury is in vaccines.. I wonder if these people have silver fillings in their mouth.. Silver fillings are made of mercury and after time the filling “melts” so you are absorbing that mercury. Then have to go get refilled with more mercury. Yes I am against silver fillings only because I dont want people to know if I have fillings but when a dentist told me about the mercury and “melting” of the fillings, made me have another reason to pay extra for white fillings…. No I do not want to know what they are made of lol.

    • Your body absorbs more mercury from eating tuna and predatory fish than you’ll get from any vaccine. Plus, it’s in the form of methyl mercury (as opposed to ethyl mercury in vaccines), which tends to be more lipophilic (fat loving) and takes longer for the body to excrete via the fecal route due to its tendency to get caught up in enterohepatic recirculation.

      And for those AV’ers lurking in the wings – there is essentially ZERO difference between ingested and ‘injected’ mercury – since over 99% of mercury consumed orally passes through the gut wall and into the bloodstream.

  17. Matt permalink

    I stumbled across your post as I was trying to compile the info to make this exact point in response to the exact article you quoted. I just pasted your post. Thanks.

  18. Using current data, I ran the numbers myself and lo and behold, un/der vaccinated are 6 to 25 times more likely to become infected with pertussis than vaccinated. Fancy that. http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2012/08/washington-state-pertussis-outbreak.html

  19. tonkatruck permalink

    Holy Shit! There is so much to say…

    In countries where there is mass immunisation there is very little in the way of death resulting from good old fashioned diseases BECAUSE most people are immunised against them. Being anti immunisation in a first world country is something you can do simply because there is little possibility for the spread of disease.

    Here is a link to all of the Australian immunisations that are paid for by taxpayers (and therefore free of cost for all children in Australia).. childcare and schools request knowledge of immunisation but are not allowed to exclude any child who is not immunised,

    http://immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/nips2

    In the end all you should have to do to win an argument about vaccines being good for the community is tell any interested party to look at how many people were affected in terrible ways by; polio, mumps, diptheria, tetanus, german measles, rubella, chicken pox, small pox, the normal flu, bird flu and more diseases; five, twenty, sixty and eighty years ago, and ask how much these diseases are a part of our lives (or childrens dis ease) now.

    I know two families that don’t and won’t immunise and enjoy the company of both, but they are simply lucky that my children and most of the rest of their world do immunise. Their childrens general “good” health has nothing to do with not being immunised their kids get sick as much as mine, but thanks to immunisation we can expect all of our children to reach maturity.

    • tonkatruck permalink

      Amongst the immunisations listed in the link was HPV (human papilloma virus) which is issued to 13 -17 year olds and is aimed to reduce the onset of cervical cancers, anal cancers, vaginal cancers, vulvar cancers, penile cancers and genital warts through the reduction of the take up and transmission of the virus.
      Immunisation is more than just stopping your kids from getting a disease, it is increasingly becoming a way of lengthening your life by not getting the spread of cancer.

      • Absolutely. And it will be interesting to discover which other cancers decline in the coming decades due to HPV vaccination.

    • Thanks for stopping by, and I completely agree with your comment. Anti-vaxxers skew younger and as such we can pretty safely say that they have no idea what it was like when diphtheria and polio ran rampant. Neither do I, actually. The difference is that I listen to my grandmother, now 97, when she tells of the families in the houses up and down her street who all lost children in a diphtheria outbreak. I listen to my neighbor who is disabled from a bout with polio. I read the medical literature and see that the arguments of anti-vaxxers are not based on scientific evidence and have not evolved in over 100 years.

      The anti-vaxxers will tell you with a straight face that it is not vaccination that severely curtailed the incidence and spread of these types of diseases. They will also be the first ones screaming to their ped when an outbreak of these diseases occurs in their neighborhood after their anti-vax efforts continue to decimate herd immunity.

  20. Sherry permalink

    Skewed,
    You state, “There will ALWAYS be someone for whom the vaccine doesn’t work, and unfortunately, pertussis vaccine is admittedly one of those for which vax rates need to be quite high to achieve herd immunity.”

    This whole concept of herd immunity is very interesting, because we were taught that herd immunity occurs because a certain percentage of a population gets an active illness. Therefore by a certain percentage of getting the active illness, they impart a protection onto the remaining part of the population that has not gotten the illness yet.

    And so the herd that is getting the illness is shedding the illness and protecting those who have not gotten it.

    In vaccine science, we are extrapolating or concluding that if we vaccinate a certain percentage of people, we are imparting protection on those who have not been vaccinated. And that has NOT been shown to be true, because the true herd immunity in theory is based on an ACTIVE DISEASE, and we know that despite what we’re taught, vaccination does not mimic the natural disease.

    So we cannot use the same model of herd immunity in a natural disease in the vaccination policy. But unfortunately, we do use it even though it cannot be used because it doesn’t have scientific backing.

    What’s most interesting to me is that the entire concept of herd immunity fails to acknowledge that there is a life cycle of the viruses and the bacteria all on their own, and that what turns them on and off may have nothing to do with the percentage of people who have been infected.

    All you have to do is look at the SARS outbreak. That virus that we were supposed to fear didn’t infect 70 or 80 percent of the population, which would then impart herd immunity on the 20 or 30 percent that didn’t get the disease.

    This is because the virus itself had a life cycle of its own. And so it came and went without any percentage of the population being protected. There wasn’t herd immunity, and yet the virus died out on its own.

    We fail to include that viruses have a life cycle, and that they are in relationship to other organisms and to us. Something activates them and something actually stops them, and it has nothing necessarily to do with the percentage of people who would have the illness or who have been vaccinated.

    … It is preposterous to think that a child who is vaccinated no longer carries the bacteria or the viruses that they have been vaccinated against. If, in fact, children are vaccinated, then why are parents and public health authorities afraid that non-vaccinated children are somehow carrying something that their children are not, when they should feel comfortable that their children are vaccinated?

    You can’t have it both ways.

    You can’t vaccinate believing that your children are protected and then feel that your children are not protected because somehow, some non-vaccinated child is carrying some secret organism that no one else is carrying.

    How does this make sense?

    • Sherry,

      What you have done here is you have posted a long-winded and frankly incorrect opinion about herd immunity. If you think that vaccination does not confer herd immunity, then please provide references to peer-reviewed papers by legitimate scientists showing this to be the case. Vaccination most certainly does “mimic” the natural disease. The fact that you personally think it does not is irrelevant. I would guess that you have gleaned this “argument” from an anti-vax site, because it is clear that while your explanation “sounds good” or “feels right to a mother”, it is utterly wrong scientifically.

      You make several other fallacious statements that provide hints to the limits of your knowledge in this area. For example, you bring out the old anti-vax argument that the unvaccinated do not pose a threat to others. I’ve already written about this, so you may want to read this .

      You are welcome to continue to post here if you can back up any of your claims with scientific research conducted by non-quacks. Links to Tenpenny, Mercola, Humphries, whale.to, Hilary Butler, Meryl Dorey, Natural News and the like are not permitted.

      • Sherry permalink

        Come on Skewed,
        The link to your other article was nothing more than your opinion embedded in hostile ad hominems. We all witnessed the SARS virus die out on its own without herd immunity. Where is YOUR scientific proof to the contrary?

        Where is YOUR scientific proof that once you are vaccinated, you cannot carry that bacteria or virus in your nose, in your throat, in your intestines, in your airway, on your skin, or in your body? Do you have proof that it is ONLY the unvaccinated that put others at risk?

        You state that, “vaccination does mimic the natural disease.” Yet you contradict this by conceding that (1)vaccines do not always work, and (2)vaccine protection wanes over time. These are significant qualitative differences between natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity!

        I’m not trying to be facetious but the burden of proof will be on pro-vaxers if they want to convince anti-vaxers that the benefits of herd immunity outweigh the risk of actually contracting a disease AND the risk of the vaccine itself causing injury and/or death.

        • Sherry permalink

          By the way, Skewed, make sure that you can back up your claims with scientific research NOT conducted by greedy, biased BigPharma.

        • Ahh, yes, the Big Pharma gambit. The symptom of a lazy mind incapable of independent thought. I wonder, have you or have any of your family members ever taken a medication? I am sure that they have, but you will probably deny it. You only like Big Pharma when it’s convenient for you and when modern medicine invented by greedy scientists is saving your life.

        • Um, no. It is a fact that the unvaccinated put everyone around them at risk. But I get that you don’t care about newborns or medically fragile individuals in your community. It’s okay, really. You can admit it, as many of your cohorts have.

          Now, where is my scientific proof that people who are vaccinated do not “carry around bacteria and viruses” and cause an increase in risk of disease? It’s very simple. If vaccines caused increases, we should see rates of VPDs going up, not down. Even the staunchest anti-vaxxer admits to the drastic decline in VPDs. Think about that real hard, okay?

          Vaccination does, in fact, mimic disease. You see, getting a disease “naturally” does not always protect one from a second bout with the disease, either. The burden of proof has already been met that vaccinations are safe and effective, at least to any individual capable of independent thought. If you don’t agree, the burden is actually on you to prove it. That is the way science works. And you have provided no evidence of any of your claims. You get one final chance to do so, or the above is your last post here. I will allow discussion by anti-vaxxers, but I won’t let you rail on with no scientific evidence.

        • Natural immunity isn’t always permanent. In a simple compartmental model of disease transmission, any given individual may transition between “Immune” and “Uninfected but at risk”.

        • Joe permalink

          In certain pharma ads, they warn you to stay away from anyone that’s been vaccinated recently. You see, they are admitting the drug causes a weakened immune system and
          in the same ad. They are also admitting, the Vaccines maybe shedding the disease.

        • Um, you know, it’s funny. I think we probably saw the same ad last night, which I believe was for some sort of immune suppression drug for arthritis. So yes, I am sure that the drug companies are being extra-careful just in case. If vaccine shedding were a non-negligible factor in spreading diseases, then rates of VPDs should be increasing at a ghastly pace, no?

        • Chris permalink

          Joe, citation needed. The only vaccines that have been known to transmit to others are smallpox and oral polio. Neither are of those are on the American pediatric schedule.

          The tetanus and diphtheria part of the DTaP are toxoids, the inactivated versions of the very real toxins created by those bacterial diseases, and the pertussis part is just a few proteins from the bacteria, not the actual bacteria.

  21. Skewed,

    Is the following calculation correct? This is data taken from the Marin County pertussis outbreak of 2010. The Vaccination Rate for that particular county is 83%, not the 93% you posted above.

    I did not lump the partial vaxed in with the unvaccinated by choice because there is a difference.

    Please advise if I did something wrong here as I’ve been told that I’m bad at math.

    Population: 15,000
    Vaccination Rate (up-to-date): 83%

    Total Vaxed (up-to-date): 12,450
    Total Unvaxed (not up-to-date): 2550

    Pertussis Cases: 132
    Pertussis Cases in Vaxed (81%): 106.9
    Pertussis Cases in Unvaxed (8%): 10.6
    Pertussis Cases in Partial Vaxed (11%): 14.52

    Attack Rate in Vaxed Cases: 106.9/12,450 = .00859
    Attack Rate in Unvaxed Cases: 10.6/2550 = .00415

    • I cannot verify your work. The biggest problem is that you make a false assumption when you state that you don’t “lump” partially vaxxed and unvaxxed. The question from a public health standpoint is whether fully vaxxed people are protected. The reasons for not being vaxxed are irrelevant to this type of calculation. As you know, a number of newly-minted anti-vaxxers have partially vaccinated children; they stopped vaxxing after succumbing to the misinformation on sites like yours.

      In addition,

      1. The population of Marin County is 255,000, not 15,000. This of course does not matter to the calculations at hand but indicates that you perhaps are not doing your homework.

      2. Where did you get the figure that 83% of Marin County is vaccinated? Please provide a reference to the number of fully, partially, and unvaxxed individuals in Marin County. Please do not link me to rates of vaccination among kindergartners. I need the rate among everyone in Marin County, because we know quite well that thanks to sites like yours, the rates of vaccine exemptions are increasing, and therefore we can expect that the rate of fully vaccinated individuals in Marin County is closer to 93% than the 83% of incoming kindergarteners.

      3. Please also provide the reference for the number of pertussis cases in Marin, and the reference that 81% of the cases in Marin County were vaccinated.

      Again, you perform a dishonest sleight-of-hand when you separate partially vaxxed from unvaxxed cases, as well as when you make assumptions about county-wide vax rates based on data for incoming kindergartners. We know for a fact that vaccination coverage is higher among older people. You claim that you are bad at math, and perhaps you are, but in this case the math is all that you got right. It’s the biased assumptions that you made to support your agenda that you got horribly wrong.

  22. Sherry permalink

    Straw Man er I mean Skewed,
    I never stated that vaccines cause increases in VPD’s. I stated that vaccination does not prevent the vaccinated person from being a carrier/transmitter of the disease for which they have been vaccinated. I know this is difficult for you to accept because it demolishes the theory of herd immunity. You can no longer put the blame on the unvaccinated for disease outbreaks.

    A vaccinated person is just as likely to come in contact with an infected surface (door knob, handrail, etc.) as an unvaccinated person and hence have the ability to pass those germs on to other surfaces and/or people. That’s basic germ theory (yes, science). A vaccinated person can even carry the infection inside their body, albeit asymptomatic. Yes, I can back this claim…

    Dr. Srugo, senior lecturer and director of the Clinical Microbiology and Pediatric Infectious Disease unit at the Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel (certainly not a “quack”), concludes:
    Vaccinated adolescents and adults may
    serve as reservoirs for silent infection and
    become potential transmitters to unprotected
    infants (3-11). The whole-cell vaccine for
    pertussis is protective only against clinical
    disease, not against infection (15-17). Therefore,
    even young, recently vaccinated children may
    serve as reservoirs and potential transmitters of
    infection.
    Re: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/5/pdfs/00-0512.pdf

    So while the unvaccinated person is potentially at home recouperating from illness, the vaccinated person is out spreading disease. It’s okay Skewed…I get that you vaccinated infection-reservoirs don’t care about newborns, medically fragile individuals, and the unvaccinated in your community. Perhaps it’s really just your lazy mind incapable of independent thought and critical thinking as you blindly believe what BigPharma tells you. After all, your Dr. says that you should vaccinate so, of course, you must do it.

    I say the above in jest in response to your condescending attitude which, by the way, isn’t going to help you win over anti-vaxxers to your stance. I’m not even completely anti-vaxx but I agree with the following article that it is time for public health officials and doctors to look at themselves and stop pointing fingers at those, who have examined pertussis vaccine benefits and risks and come to a different conclusion. The article is fully-referenced with CDC stats on the high vaccination rate for pertussis in the U.S. but also references the risks attributed to the vaccine.

    [Admin note: link to a dishonest website that purveys misinformation snipped, as the author of this post knew it would be, since I do not allow links to sites that perpetuate lies at this website].

    Now let’s see if you have the integrity to actually post this.

    • “I never stated that vaccines cause increases in VPD’s.”

      Are you unaware of the contradiction between the first sentence and the rest of your post? Seriously? I asked you to think about what you are saying. You haven’t, because you then go on to quote or state that the vaccinated are “transmitters of infection” and are “out spreading disease”. And yet, if this were true, and 95% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, then why aren’t VPDs increasing? It’s a very simple question. If vaccines were a serious cause of VPD spread, as you are claiming with your post, the rate of VPDs should be increasing. Period. No hand-waving can get you past that simple observation.

      I don’t give a damn if I don’t win any anti-vaxxers over. It can’t be done, which is why I am working with other scientists and legislators to have vaccine exemptions (other than medical) severely curtailed or eliminated, state by state. Reasonable people with rational concerns about vaccines can be educated about the safety and efficacy of vaccinations. Anti-vaxxers can’t, because your movement is a religion, not a science.

  23. DeeDee permalink

    First I would like to say that I am a polite person and I do not mean to disrespect you or anyone here. I just want to point out that your math appears correct, however in word problems sometimes there is information that is left out. When you used the information that 93% of kindergarteners are vaccinated you are making an assumption for the total population of children under 18 and you are not sure if the kindergarteners are fully vaccinated with all 4 (or is it 5?) vaccines or if they have just had the kindergarten vaccines. Because this is not stated, we are guessing at the data. I would guess that maybe 10% of kindergarteners are not fully vaccinated. Using this information, then 82% are fully vaccinated, 10% are partially vaccinated, and 8% are unvacinated. This sounds too close to the 81% vaccinated, 11% partially vaccinated and, 8% unvaccinated that contracted pertussis. My take is that the vaccine does not work at all. Unless we have exact numbers it is all a guess, we don’t know and we are both speculating.

    I do know that the CDC used to have a chart of cases of pertussis by year on their site. The rate of pertussis was going down with the whole-cell pertusis and when they changed to the accellular pertussis, the rate suddenly started going up. Then one year it suddenly shot up and that year they didn’t even post to their chart for 2 years, even though the following year was posted. It was as if they were trying to hide the information. Eventually they couldn’t hide the fact that pertussis was becoming more prevalent instead of less so a few years later they started the chart over removing the evidence that the rate was going up by removing the previous years. (I can’t tell you which years they are because I don’t have the chart here.) I’m sorry, but this seemed deceptive to me!

    Recently in Montana we had a pertussis outbreak. I work at a daycare center. The children form the daycare who were fully vaccinated who went to the doctor with coughs were not tested because they were vaccinated. They were just told it was a cold. Go figure! I couldn’t believe it. No wonder there are more unvaccinated children reprted to have pertussis. They are more likely to be tested! My teenage daughter who was exposed to pertussis was literally surrounded by children who had it. Even though she had not had a shot for 14 years, she did not get it. I know that for sure because they were sure to test her for it because she was only partially vaccinated.

    I wouldn’t tell people to vaccinate or not, but in our family we have had 7 children who have had serious vaccine reactions. Two of our boys have autism that started after seizures immediately after vaccination. Two of our kids have had reactions in the Dr’s office immediately after the vaccine. My youngest daughter had a seisure at 6 months and a stroke at 9 months after her shots. One of my neices couldn’t walk for a few months after her MMR, and her sister had more than 9 hours of crying (encephelitis).

    I fear the vaccines more than the possibility of disease. In my family, seven vaccine injuries and one case of chicken pox. My mind is made up, but I value your freedom to vaccinate your kids. I hope you can also value the chiulldren in my family and families like mine. We need to be given the choice to vaccinate or not!

    • Eventually they couldn’t hide the fact that pertussis was becoming more prevalent instead of less so a few years later they started the chart over removing the evidence that the rate was going up by removing the previous years. (I can’t tell you which years they are because I don’t have the chart here.) I’m sorry, but this seemed deceptive to me!

      It seems deceptive to me that you have made all these claims with no evidence to back them up.

      Also, autism does not equal vaccine injury. And crying does not equal encephalitis. It is worth considering the possibility that none of your family is, in fact, vaccine injured, but ratheryou are trying to blame every medical issue they have on a vaccine.

    • “Unless we have exact numbers it is all a guess, we don’t know and we are both speculating.”

      No. I used actual data. You did not. I used the 93% figure conservatively. It is actually far more likely that the vaccination rate is higher than 93%. Your “take” is therefore meaningless, especially in light of peer-reviewed studies showing quite clearly that those who exempt from vaccinations are significantly more likely to get pertussis.

      Further, COVRAC is correct. Vaccinations do not, and I repeat, DO NOT cause autism. I am empathetic to the challenges that your family faces, but money and resources are better spent on providing services to families who need them rather than chasing a red herring and using scare tactics to convince parents not to vaccinate.

      • DeeDee permalink

        I did not claim that my numbers were correct. I was saying that your numbers were incomplete since you did not have data for partially vaccinated. We do not iknow if they were included in the vaccinated or unvacinated data. Also, you used only the information from the kindergarteners and not the full ages from 0 to 18. Since we do not have this information we are both speculating. It could be scewed either way.
        Science is based on observations and I have observed many reactions to vaccines both in my family and in the daycare in which I work. My nephew and my granddaughter both had immediate reactions to vaccines IN THE DOCTOR”S OFFICES. They both had seizures and my grandaughter had a shock collapse afterwards. It seems ridiculous to assume it was not from the shots. Am I wrong or am I right? I don’t know for sure, I admit that, but you don’t know either. Can you admit it too? Please, please, please, say you wouldn’t take away my family’s right to choose to vaccinate or not!

        • DeeDee,

          If even you do not believe your numbers to be correct, then what in Sam Hill is your point? You are correct that I used the numbers for KG. We also know–this is not a guess–that exemption rates are increasing, not decreasing. Therefore it is entirely logical to assume that the vax rate for the general population is higher than for KG. Please note though that I did not even make that assumption in my calculation. I used actual published data. Period. It could not, in fact, be “screwed either way” unless you simply refuse to believe the data.

          As for the rest, it may surprise you to know that I do not support mandatory vaccination for all children. I do, however, support mandatory vaccination for attendance at school unless there is a legitimate medical reason for an exemption. If that is the case for your family, then I am not sure that we have any disagreement at all. But all philosophical and religious exemptions should be outlawed. If you do not want to vaccinate because you read some scary lies on the internets, you can homeschool.

        • Antonio permalink

          Hi DeeDee
          Science is not based on observations. I think that observations trigger research to prove or disprove whatever you observed, but always following the scientific method. If you trust observations, then the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it. Many faulty studies have been published because the researcher trusted “too much the observation”. Epidemiology and statistics are very powerful tools to detect if your observation is actually “real” or not. How many babies are immunized per day? By chance alone, there will be some kids that have the first manifestation of disease temporaly associated with a vaccination. That’s the observation, but then we need to look deeper using the scientific method to determine if there was any real (and not just perceived) link between the exposure and the outcome. I like to quote a real stroy about this same issue: while a nurse was filling the syringe with a DTaP for a 2 month old, the baby started seizing. If the the seizure happened 5 minutes later, all the evidence in the world will not be enough for that mother to convince her that the vaccine was not responsible.
          Science is hard to learn, and evidence sometimes goes against our pre-set notion of reality, however, the best way to care for children and for the public in general, is to use the best available information we have gathered over decades.
          I agree there is a lot we do not know. But we do know some. We DO KNOW pertussis kills babies, we DO KNOW vaccine protects against disease (we can argue how much and for how long), we DO KNOW vaccines are super safe, we DO KNOW that the best way to prevent spread of disease is to have a population with good rates of immunization.
          I am from a developing country where people line up at 3 am in the morning during vaccinations campaigns and beg for the shots. It’s kinda shocking to me how some people in this country refuse to get immunized when all reputable scientists and public health officials STRONGLY support vaccines. It’s actually sad.

        • Very well said, Antonio, and thanks for stopping by. In my experience the anti-vax movement is a group of privileged elitists with too much time on their hands. They Google their lives away but have never traveled to a developing country, and have no idea about nor concern for those whom vaccination protects–babies, toddlers, and those less fortunate than themselves.

  24. Matt permalink

    If you want to talk REAL numbers then look at the stats you are using a little more closely. 81% were vaccinated fully. 92% were vaccinated period. This shows little to no benefit from this particular vaccine.

    • Chris permalink

      What were their ages? How long since the last vaccination?

      Now out of the total population of vaccinated children, what percentage got pertussis?

      Then out of the total population of children who were not vaccinated, what percentage got pertussis?

      Which one would be the larger number?

    • Sigh. The real numbers are exactly as I presented them. Basic math is your friend.

  25. Freedom of choice! permalink

    “You can’t have it both ways.

    You can’t vaccinate believing that your children are protected and then feel that your children are not protected because somehow, some non-vaccinated child is carrying some secret organism that no one else is carrying.

    How does this make sense? ”

    Yeah. It’s like the people who claim that driving sober protects their passengers and then whine about _other_ people driving drunk. How does that make sense?

  26. Joe permalink

    You are misleading the people, your vaccines are not working and you know it. You are just trying
    to confuse the parents, into thinking that you are right. The crap does not work, and the numbers are showing that the vaccine maybe causing the very disease it’s supposed to prevent.

    Care to defend the flu vaccine for the elderly, that’s contained the vaccineal Mercury based preservative Thimerosal?

    How do you justify injecting a known developmental IQ lowering compound, into anybody?

    The elderly that got the full strength Thimerosal 25 micro grams in their flu shot, got a whole
    9 percent benefit. That’s insane, considering that the Mercury can push them over the edge
    to Alzheimer’s disease.

    In fact, you could say giving someone a 9 % benefit while injecting Mercury in them is criminal activity. Home grown terrorism, for profit.

    • Chris permalink

      Well no matter how may times you give someone a DTaP or Tdap booster, you are not going to protect them from influenza. (see title of article)

      Though the influenza vaccine does work well for younger populations, who should get vaccinated to protect their elderly parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Just like every person older than eleven should get Tdap boosters to protect babies from pertussis.

      “That’s insane, considering that the Mercury can push them over the edge to Alzheimer’s disease”

      Citation needed. Preferably one that is recent since there have been many advances on Alzheimer’s in recent years.

    • Try to stay on topic, Joe. My post was about pertussis. Let’s stick with pertussis. And if you are going continue to call vaccinations an act of terrorism, you will not be long for this board, I can tell you that much. The violent rhetoric from anti-vaxxers is completely out of hand.

  27. “skeweddistribution said

    Hi John,

    First question: 81% of cases were previously vaccinated, and 19% of were unvaccinated, precisely as I described in my post. ”

    Where did you get the 19% from? In the original link it says, “Of the 132 [pertussis] patients under age 18, 81 percent were up to date on recommended whooping cough shots and eight percent had never been vaccinated. The other 11 percent had received at least one shot, but not the complete series. ”

    So could you redo the math using 81% and 8%…?

    • 100-81=19. It’s not that difficult. I do not count individuals who are not fully vaccinated as vaccinated. There is a reason that more than one shot is required in some cases.

      • DeeDee permalink

        Skeweddistribution,

        I don’t know why you get to consider the partially-vaccinated as unvaccinated. I chose to call them vaccinated. 81+11=92 which is almost exactly the 93% who are vaccinated as kindergarteners leaving 8% as unvaccinated. The numbers do add up. The vaccine does not work!

        • I “get” to consider the partially-vaccinated as unvaccinated because the full complement is quite obviously needed for protection. That’s why I “get” to make that call. You have provided not one shred of evidence for your opinion, per usual. Try, try again.

        • Joe permalink

          Mayer Eisenstein MD,JD,MPH his practice has 36,000 non vaccinated and only one case of Autism.
          Asthma rates, are almost non existent also. That’s bad news, couple that with the constant failure
          of their vaccines lately. And all vaccines seem to be good for,is the causing of the very disease it;s supposed to protect you from. That, and making the American children sicker. Than any other time, in American history. That is, since we have had modern sanitation and good nutrition.

          Sick children, grow up to be sick adults. Pharma loves it, it sustains them.

          No wonder they afraid of doing that study, it;s already been done. And they lose, hands down.

          Please explain, how you can defend the MMR when there is a on going lawsuit brought by Merck employees. That’s claiming, Merck knew for yr’s the Mumps partition was useless. And that they were committing fraud, and putting the public in danger.

        • Mayer Eisenstein MD, JD, MPH should publish a peer-reviewed study describing his incredible patient population in that case. Until I see it, I have no reason to believe a word that either you or he says.

          How can I still support MMR? Because to date the evidence that has been reported is not very compelling. Unlike you, I also don’t believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. If in the worst case scenario mumps vaccine is losing efficacy, the vaccine still includes measles and rubella-both of which are extremely effective.

          Now, as to the “sanitation” argument, why is it that in Colorado, vaccine refusers were significantly more likely to get pertussis than those who vaccinate? Are all anti-vaxxers dirty or something?

  28. onikarenee permalink

    Your conclusion only works if all 1000 students were EXPOSED to the disease. They may not have been, probably weren’t, so you don’t know if their vaccine was effective or not.

  29. onikarenee permalink

    106 of 132 patients who were up to date on their vaccinations contracted the disease. That is a high failure rate for an “imperfect” vaccine, and they probably were not all vaccinated from the same batch of vaccine either.

  30. Chris permalink

    Not that ccdaddy/Joe would actually understand the studies nor the basic arithmetic, I present some actual studies. Since we all know that news reports are not scientifically valid, especially when filtered through a rabid pseudoscience website.

    Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story

    Individual and Community Risks of Measles and Pertussis Associated With Personal Exemptions to Immunization

    Pediatrics. 2009 Jun;123(6):1446-51.
    Parental refusal of pertussis vaccination is associated with an increased risk of pertussis infection in children.

    Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec 15;168(12):1389-96. Epub 2008 Oct 15.
    Geographic clustering of nonmedical exemptions to school immunization requirements and associations with geographic clustering of pertussis.

    Some community immunity arithmetic:

    Take 1000 people (ignoring the infants under 2 months who cannot be vaccinated, or babies under a year who can only be partially vaccinated), if 5% refuse vaccines then the numbers are:

    950 vaccinated persons (assuming full schedule)
    50 unvaccinated persons

    The pertussis vaccine is actually only 80% effective at worse, so the numbers are:

    760 protected persons
    190 vaccinated but vulnerable persons
    50 unvaccinated persons

    There is an outbreak and it gets spread to 20% of the population, then:

    760 protected persons without pertussis

    38 vaccinated persons get pertussis
    152 vaccinated person who may still get pertussis

    10 unvaccinated persons get pertussis
    40 unvaccinated persons who may still get pertussis.

    This is how more vaccinated persons get the disease than unvaccinated. Even if the infection rate was at 100%, there would still be more of the vaccinated getting the diseases because there are more of them!

  31. Thanks Chris. Unfortunately, even after this has been explained repeatedly to these folks, I doubt they will choose to understand it.

  32. Are you really, that stupid? Even the HHS agency’s,are saying, that we cannot blame the non vaccinated, for these recent outbreaks. Their blaming, the vaccines efficiency.

    In Pakistan,,50 % of the children who got the measles,were already vaccinated.

    The CDC said, that cocooning, isn’t working like they planned. They said,that it was working in reverse! What’s is the reverse, of protecting children. Putting children, in harms way! It was discovered,that the persons that they were strongly recommending to be freshly vaccinated,were
    shedding for up to 5 weeks! That’s a major screw up! And you, want us to believe that these people are competent ?????? Why???

  33. Chris permalink

    I know, but it is something that irritates me. I thought I would break it down to make it extremely simple, at least for lurkers.

  34. Always appreciated!

  35. Chris permalink

    Mr. Harris: “Are you really, that stupid? Even the HHS agency’s,are saying, that we cannot blame the non vaccinated, for these recent outbreaks. Their blaming, the vaccines efficiency.”

    Citation needed. Because these say the opposite of your claims:

    Lancet. 1998 Jan 31;351(9099):356-61.
    Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story

    JAMA. 2000 Dec 27;284(24):3145-50.
    Individual and Community Risks of Measles and Pertussis Associated With Personal Exemptions to Immunization

    Pediatrics. 2009 Jun;123(6):1446-51.
    Parental refusal of pertussis vaccination is associated with an increased risk of pertussis infection in children.

    Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec 15;168(12):1389-96. Epub 2008 Oct 15.
    Geographic clustering of nonmedical exemptions to school immunization requirements and associations with geographic clustering of pertussis.

  36. All you gave me, was a list of corporate studies,done with vaccine maker funding. I am talking about, CDC’s Dr Shuchats, own (verbal words) that it’s not the non vacccinaters this time.

    A California study, found that they cannot blame the non vaccinaters. It appears, that the whooping cough vaccine is not working real well. May need more boosters! More money, please!

    Merck asked for, and received!from the makers of Journals (Elsevier) 6 fake journals. Excuse me, if I no longer trust, the Pimp to Whore poor excuse, for what people call prestigious journals.

    I have seen, a FOIA email from Dr Cochi, that was embarrassing! to say the least. For the CDC
    it was Dr. Cochi, practically begging the AAP journal to publish Dr Thorsens fraud. Now we know, since he has been indicted, on 22 counts of fraud. Why, he had to beg, that journal to publish the studies. Proving.

    That injecting, a known IQ lowering neural toxin in babies, was safe. It’s the incestuous relationship, that’s known, as the new science.

  37. Chris permalink

    “All you gave me, was a list of corporate studies,done with vaccine maker funding.”

    Prove it. List the study, and then directly quote the portion showing the funding is “corporate.” Here is one big hint that shows you never looked at them: none of them had anything to do with California.

    Especially for the first one on the list. Here, I’ll make is simple for you, just provide proof the following are pharmaceutical corporations:

    Gangarosa International Health Foundation and Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA (Prof E J Gangarosa MD);
    World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (Prof A M GalazkaMD);
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia (GA), USA (C R Wolfe BA, R T Chen MD, L M Phillips MPH);
    and PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, London, UK (E Miller FRCPath)

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Pertussis, WA State, 2012 | informedparentsofvaccinatedchildren
  2. Darrell Ross » Blog Archive » Anti-Vaxxers Suck At Math
  3. Yet Another Reason to Immunize Alert « SkewedDistribution
  4. Anti-vaccine chiropractors 21 | reasonablehank
  5. 8 Reasons You Are Wrong About Not Vaccinating Your Daughter « Red Wine & Apple Sauce

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