Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination continues to be a problem. Despite the ongoing campaigns for universal vaccination, the incidence of children with whooping cough has been increasing since the 1980’s. The large number of yearly cases of whooping cough cannot be explained by the number of parents opting out of vaccine requirements. And it is common for previously vaccinated children to come down with the disease.
This is especially frustrating for conventional medical practitioners who have no effective treatment for whooping cough. The disappointment in the pertussis vaccine is expressed by the authors of a recent study in their conclusion. “Pertussis continues to be the most poorly controlled bacterial vaccine-preventable disease in this country, despite high rates of DTaP coverage.”
Whooping Cough Vaccine Protection Wanes
The study published in Pediatrics sought to determine the cause of the rising incidence of whooping cough. The researchers discovered that the vaccine seems to lose its effectiveness over time. They looked at whooping cough cases in two states, Minnesota and Oregon, and examined the incidence in children aged 7 to 10 after their fifth pertussis vaccine dose at five years of age. They discovered an increasing incidence of whooping cough as each year passed since the last dose of vaccine.
Their conclusion was that immunity induced by the vaccine wanes quickly in the three to five year period following vaccination. This is no surprise since the pertussis vaccine has never proven very effective in preventing disease. Unlike some other childhood diseases like measles and mumps that have nearly disappeared, whooping cough cases continue to surface in epidemics each year.
A Holistic Approach to Whooping Cough
Holistic medicine can effectively manage whooping cough cases, and although the disease consists of a prolonged and bothersome cough in children, holistic practitioners seldom see complications of the disease. Treatment usually consists of homeopathic medicines and herbal formulas.
In light of the findings of this study and previous studies that have shown relative ineffectiveness of the pertussis vaccine, parents may want to reconsider subjecting their children to this vaccination. This is especially true since holistic medical practitioners have confidence in their ability to treat the disease. Parents should consider whether they are willing to risk the pertussis vaccine’s dangerous adverse effects which include seizures, infections of the brain, and nervous system damage in their children.
It may make more sense to use holistic measures to build a strong immune system that is resilient and resistant to infections, and then treat the disease with holistic medicines if it occurs.
Sara Y. Tartof SY, Lewis M, PhD, Kenyon C, et al. Waning Immunity to Pertussis Following 5 Doses of DTaP. Pediatrics. Originally published online March 11, 2013.
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SAFbaby Expert Health Advisor, Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD
Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD, has practiced and taught holistic medicine for more than thirty years in the San Francisco Bay area, specializing in child health care. He is a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese medicine, author of The Holistic Baby Guide, Child Health Guide, and The Vaccine Guide.
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