An article in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society was titled, “The 112-Year Odyssey of Pertussis and Pertussis Vaccines — Mistakes Made and Implications for the Future.” The authors review the history of the pertussis vaccine, which became available in the 1930s, and point out that the rate of pertussis has dropped from 157 per 100,000 in the pre-vaccine era to less than 1 per 100,000 in the 1970s.
The scientists also examine the fact that pertussis has re-emerged over the last 13 years, with major outbreaks occurring throughout the U.S. Many studies have shown the deficiencies of the pertussis vaccine.
In fact, it fails to elicit a cellular immune response, which can lead to pertussis susceptibility in the person who receives it. And the current vaccine elicits an immune response that lasts only for a very short time period. Therefore, more and more pertussis vaccinations are being recommended.
In addition, there is a mismatch between the pertussis strain covered by the vaccine and the circulating pertussis strains. This leads to vaccine failures.
The authors claim that the pertussis vaccine was responsible for the rapid decline in pertussis infections in the U.S. That may or may not be true. There was a rapid decline in many pediatric infectious illnesses, pertussis included, well before routine vaccination began.
Furthermore, animal studies have shown that the current pertussis vaccine can result in vaccinated people carrying and shedding the infection for weeks to months.
Finally, the pertussis bacterium has mutated away from the currently recommended form in the vaccine.
The pertussis vaccine is a mess. In fact, because those who receive the vaccine can harbor the bacterium and shed it for weeks, perhaps it is wise to quarantine those recently vaccinated with it.
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