Whooping Cough Vaccine: Is Your Child at Risk?

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a bacterial infection that still affects thousands of Americans – in spite of the whooping cough vaccine.

In 2010, 10 infants in California died of whooping cough. According to reports, none of those infants were breastfed.

Is the whooping cough vaccine enough to protect your child from pertussis? The fact is that most kids who contract whooping cough have already been vaccinated against the condition.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) tells us that the best way to prevent whooping cough is through vaccinations.

  • The childhood vaccine is called DTaP.
  • The whooping cough booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap.
  • Both protect against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
  • There is no whooping cough only vaccine available.
Most of the children who contract pertussis have been vaccinated against whooping cough.

Reports and media both speculate that the hysteria surrounding vaccinations is the reason why whooping cough rates continue to escalate.

What these reports fail to mention is that most of the children who contract whooping cough have also been vaccinated against whooping cough.

For example, in 2009 The Star-Ledger reported an outbreak of whooping cough that occurred in 21 fully vaccinated children in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. (1)

And in Toronto, Canada, a laboratory confirmed a pertussis outbreak that occurred in preschool children. Data reveal that greater than 90 percent of the kids who were involved in the outbreak were up-to-date with pertussis immunizations. (2)

In 2010, a team of journalists came together and spent four months investigating the nine California counties most affected by whooping cough. They found that 44 to 83 percent of those who had contracted the infection had been fully vaccinated. Also, in Ohio and Texas, two states that are reported as having record numbers of whooping cough cases, 75 and 67.5 percent respectively of these cases had been vaccinated.

Health officials recommend that children receive vaccinations against whooping cough in five doses, with the first shot at age two months and the final shot between four and six years. The vaccine is not fully effective until all five doses are given. At around 11 or 12, a booster shot is recommended.

The California state legislature recently passed a law in September 2010 in response to the whooping cough outbreak. The new law targets children in grades 7 to 12. Starting with the 2012 – 2013 school year, parents have been told that incoming seventh graders will need to provide proof of vaccination.

What many parents are not told is that they have the right to refuse vaccination under Personal Beliefs Exemptions (PBEs). They also are not told that there are many well-documented cases of vaccine failure.

It’s now recommended that we vaccinate ourselves in order to protect others.

At this point, the CDC recommends that:

  • Adults age 18-64 years of age receive Tdap if they expect to be near an infant under 12 months old.
  • Health-care personnel who have direct patient contact should receive a single dose of Tdap.
This is to protect infants from contracting whooping cough.

Keep Healthy from the Inside Out!

Regardless of your choice to vaccinate for the whooping cough or not, it is essential to focus on strengthening the immune system naturally.

A diet that is low in sugar and high in immune-boosting foods like fermented foods and probiotic beverages will naturally protect your child from any infection, including whooping cough. A low-sugar diet also means limiting refined grains and complex carbohydrates.

If you have an infant, diet applies here as well: Infants do best with breast milk, period. Adding formula to an infant’s diet for extra nutrition may create more stress for a still-developing system.

Try giving your infant or your child a little juice from a batch of fermented vegetables or a teaspoon of InnergyBiotic. This can safely and gently inoculate the gut with friendly and immune-boosting bacteria.

Other tips:

  • Get plenty of sleep each night.
  • Maintain levels of vitamin D. Strong levels of vitamin D in the blood are key to preventing all infectious diseases, including whooping cough. Use either a high-quality fish oil or, at the minimum, choose a supplement that is fortified with absorbable vitamin D3, rather than vitamin D2.

What to Remember Most About This Article:

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a bacterial infection that continues to plague thousands of Americans, even after being vaccinated. In fact, most children who contract the condition have already been vaccinated against whooping cough.

Although physicians recommend that children receive whooping cough vaccinations in five different doses from ages two months to up to six years, many parents don’t realize that they have the right to refuse vaccination.

Whether you choose to vaccinate or not, you can start out on the right foot by strengthening your child’s immune system naturally.

  • Eat a diet rich in fermented foods and probiotic beverages to naturally protect your child from infection.
  • Infants should be given breast milk since formula could place stress on their vulnerable immune system.
  • Give your infant or child a little juice from fermented vegetables to provide their gut with friendly bacteria to boost immunity.
  • Make sure to get enough sleep each night.
  • Keep vitamin D levels stable to fight all infectious diseases, especially whooping cough!

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  1. Frasinelli, Mike. Whooping Cough returns to Hunterdon County. The Star-Ledger. February 11, 2009.
  2. Waters, Valerie et al. “Outbreak of Atypical Pertussis Detected by Polymerase Chain Reaction in Immunized Preschool-Aged Children.” Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 28(7):582-587, July 2009.
  3. Crowe, Kevin. Many whooping cough victims have been immunized; Experts spar over prospects of new disease strain. December 13, 2010.
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