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DISCLAIMER:

All information, data and material contained, presented, or provided here is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as reflecting the knowledge or opinions of the publisher, and is not to be construed or intended as providing medical or legal advise. The decision to vaccinate and how you implement that decision is yours and yours alone. You are encouraged to consult with your medical professional and legal adviser.

Pertussis

This is the second post written by two District 11 volunteers after they were asked to share their cost-benefit analysis for not vaccinating their children. The cost benefit table can be found here with all links/references:

We are not writing these posts to begin arguments, but to explain our rational, be honest about our thinking, and share our cost-benefit analysis. We are also hoping to raise awareness about the movement in NJ and across the country to remove vaccine choice

For pertussis, I’ve prepared a table that outlines (1) the risks of contracting the infection, (2) the severity of the infection and complications, (3) the vaccine details, (4) the vaccine ingredients, and (5) the adverse reactions to the vaccine using CDC documents and the vaccine inserts included with each vaccines.  All references are hyperlinked for ease of verification in the table that can be found on Google Docs here.

Pertussis spreads very easily. It is also very serious in infants 0 -6 months and 6 – 12 months.  It is very, very scary when infants get anything, especially whooping cough.  Our daughter is 3 ½ months old so she is still in that vulnerable window. According to the CDC, in 2018, there were 10 deaths out of 13,439 cases or 0.07% of cases resulted in death. In children younger than a year, 4 deaths per 1,683 cases or 0.24% of cases resulted in death.

Unfortunately, the vaccine is not very effective. After the full 5 doses of the acellular Pertussis vaccine 90% of children are protected for up to a year. If you follow the CDC schedule that would be in your child’s 5th year of life.  5 years after the final shot an additional 20% of children have lost protection.  After 5 years efficacy wanes quickly.

Furthermore, the risks from the vaccine are significant. Beyond the risk of anaphylaxis as with every vaccine, DTaP is also contraindicated for encephalopathy from previous DTaP vaccines. Additionally the CDC suggests precautions be taken if a previous DTaP vaccine caused a fever of 105 F or higher, or collapse/convolutions,  or inconsolable crying for over 3 hours.  One clinical trial resulted in a death percentage among participants (0.69%) very similar to the 2018 death percentage among Pertussis cases (0.7%). Seizures, fevers, and extreme thickening of the arm, over 1.72 inches in 1.3% of the cases, to the point of interference with normal arm activity in 20.4% of the recipients were shown in another clinical trial. The list in the table does not do justice to the number of adverse effects in the vaccine labels. Please check the links in the table to see each vaccine label.  

The low death rate of infants that contract pertussis, the poor efficacy of the vaccine, and significant risks associated with vaccination lead us to the decision not to vaccinate Our daughter. We also considered that by the time she is out of her most vulnerable stage, 0 – 6 months, she would be getting her third shot giving her maybe 80% – 85% chance of being protected. Prior to that third shot it’s not well established how many infants are protected.

Because the DTaP vaccine does not protect children during their most vulnerable age, the CDC recommends all adults that will come in contact with infants get vaccinated as well as the pregnant mother.  We did not follow the CDC’s recommendations for three reasons:

1. We could not find clinical trial safety data from Tdap vaccination during pregnancy.  Using the CDC page’s linked studies, we found some research suggesting that they result in increased antibodies but no evidence they reduce incidences, severe complications, or even death (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5700667/). We also found some studies that found an increased rate of chorioamnionitis in babies who’s mothers were given the shot while pregnant (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X17306771).  The research was just too limited and very preliminary in nature.

2. The CDC states, “acellular pertussis vaccines may not prevent colonization (carrying the bacteria in your body without getting sick) or spread of the bacteria.” To be honest, we would rather know we were sick, and manage exposure appropriately, than be an asymptomatic carrier.

3. A recent study concluded that “all children who were primed by DTaP vaccines will be more susceptible to pertussis throughout their lifetimes, and there is no easy way to decrease this increased lifetime susceptibility.”   The most recent outbreaks in California support this finding as it was almost exclusively the vaccinated that were infected (https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-whooping-cough-vaccine-20190316-story.html). 

Finally, just like Hep B, aluminum is still used as an adjuvant in the DTaP vaccine.  Additionally polysorbate 80 is used as well. The potential of aluminum as a neurotoxin and its ability to cross the blood brain barrier on its own, and with the help of polysorbate 80, is of concern to us as well.

Again, the choice to vaccinate your infant for Pertussis is yours and yours alone. Due to the efficacy of the vaccine and significant adverse effects, it is a decision each family had to make for themselves.  There are risks on both sides.

What should be very clear again, as it was with Hep B, is that our daughter, who is not vaccinated for Pertusis, is not putting your child at risk. The CDC makes this point very clear:

1. The CDC states unvaccinated children “are not the driving force behind the large scale outbreaks or epidemics.”

2. Furthermore, “the epidemiology of pertussis has changed in recent years, with an increasing burden of disease among fully-vaccinated children and adolescents…”

3. Most importantly, “Public health experts cannot rely on herd immunity to protect people from pertussis since: Pertussis spreads so easily, vaccine protection decreases over time, acellular pertussis vaccines may not prevent colonization (carrying the bacteria in your body without getting sick) or spread of the bacteria.”

Please reach out to your State Senator and Assembly members asking them to leave the choice to vaccinate with the parents by rejecting A3818/S2173.  

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