A group of vaccinated children in Florida is now at the center of a whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak. A report released today by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases have tracked a whooping cough outbreak all the way back to 2013. More than two dozen Florida preschoolers were diagnosed with the illness. Included are two staff members and 11 other family members. Almost all the children in the preschool were listed as vaccinated from pertussis.
The outbreak isn’t being reported in bold print, clearly, because I am going to guess this is the first many of you have heard about this issue. This is an investigation which began in December of 2013. The conclusive evidence shows that an older, vaccinated sibling infected a one-month old infant. The infant’s mother was also determined to be displaying symptoms of the issue as well. The preschool began what it terms as a “surveillance program” which monitored students for symptoms.
Pro-vaccine camps have largely been scurrying for alternate answers to the issue, but as the years have gone by, it’s just been too difficult and obvious to cover up (according to TheDailyBeast).
For advocates of vaccination, it would be comforting if we could pin this outbreak on improper storage or administration of the pertussis vaccine. That seems unlikely, however. The report notes that affected children had received their immunizations from various providers in the community, and there was no increased incidence of disease within the county as a whole. It seems the vaccine simply was not as effective as it should have been.
But not to worry, they’ve at least found some “reason.”
This may stem from a change in the kind of vaccination used to protect against whooping cough, made decades ago. Earlier versions of the DTP vaccine (which also protects quite well against diphtheria and tetanus) were produced using broken-down whole cells of pertussis bacteria. While effective, safety concerns about rare but serious reactions to the whole-cell vaccine began to emerge. This led the development and licensure in the early 1990s of the DTaP vaccine currently in use, an “acellular” version that does not contain the older component and causes less of a reaction (PDF).
Let’s be honest here, this is ridiculous. The clear cause of the outbreak is the vaccine. And this isn’t the first case of this happening. But blaming the vaccine, which might seem counter-intuitive to their cause, might actually be the solid play for the pharmaceutical companies. In this case, they can say the vaccine is “waning” in effectiveness, invent a new one, increase sales. Believe me, the pharmaceutical company is always going to find a way to “win.” For the rest of us, however, we continue to lose. They spread the illness, our children and us suffer the consequences, they carry bags of money to the bank.
Now, why aren’t people sharing this all over the web? There really is no other excuse for this outbreak.
Don’t worry, the same Daily Beast article is full to the brim with excuses.
“The close proximity and high ease of transmission in a daycare setting meant extremely high bacterial loads were being passed around that could have overcome any waning immunity present,” he continued. “I think pertussis outbreaks are in general under-recognized. It isn’t tested for or clinically identified nearly as often as it should be. It may be the case that our estimates of real-world vaccine efficacy may be overly optimistic if there is actually more pertussis that isn’t being diagnosed.”
The new term is “waning immunity.” So essentially, the solution will be more pertussis vaccines loaded with stronger, more effective toxins. Let’s be honest here, this is a play (and a good one, sadly). These excuses, however, are thin and built for dissemination through the sheep. Right now pharmaceutical companies are preparing for damage control because once this article makes the rounds, they do have to come up with answers and responses. Be prepared for calculated lies and opportunistic ventures. Because that’s how this always goes.