Health Articles
Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Vaccine: Scare/Guilt Campaign in Full Swing!
Posted on July 7, 2017 1:35 PM by Dr. Zimmer
The sky is falling…the sky is falling! Make sure you and your children get vaccinated ASAP with the Whooping Cough vaccine in order to save lives!
 
A recent California increase of whooping cough cases,  also known as Pertussis, renewed the call to vaccinate. Although this seems logical, the tactics being used are meant to scare and/or guilt you into getting this vaccine with the use of half-truths and partial information. The tactic is effective because the majority of the population really does not know anything about the Whooping Cough vaccine beyond the claim that it is vital to get and that it saves lives.   Read on, if you want to find out the facts in order to make a truly informed decision.
 
I like to start my factual articles regarding any vaccine with the full disclosure that I am NOT completely anti-vaccine. If you read my other articles regarding this subject, this fact will become very clear to you. I am, however, strongly against the pro-vaccine misinformation campaigns meant to scare or guilt you into being injected with these substances for reasons of profit and ego preservation.
 
So, the reports of 6 infant deaths along with 1,500 cases of whooping cough in California seemed to paint a compelling picture as to why everyone should get a whooping cough vaccine right away. Pro-vaccine zealots used these numbers to claim that the rational debate is over and that those who do not vaccinate are actually “immoral”! The Today Show’s chief medical editor at the time, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, stated that she found people who did not vaccinate to be “offensive and immoral”. Hypocritically, she does not find it "offensive and immoral" to purposely present only part of the facts regarding vaccinations in order to skew public opinion.
 
To help illustrate how the news and the medical profession report only partial facts to influence opinion, look at the picture below:
 
 
Now, what conclusion would you come to if you only knew that a dangerous three hundred pound Bengal tiger was two feet away from a young child? You would think that this child was in grave danger and would likely lose his life should nothing drastic be done right away. The information you got was not false. This deadly tiger is indeed two feet away from this little boy. But, if you also knew that there was an impenetrable glass barrier between the tiger and the child, your sense of urgency would be calmed by having gained the knowledge of all of the facts. People, like Dr. Snyderman, willfully leave out any information that would calm your alarm and sense of urgency when it comes to vaccinations.
 
Let’s look at a more complete analysis of the facts, so you can get the full picture when it comes to the whooping cough story.
 
There are three main claims made by the vaccination industry. The first is that people (especially infants) are dying from whooping cough. The second is that vaccination will protect them from the disease and the final one is that the disease epidemic is being driven by the non-vaccinated. Let's see if these claims hold any water.
 
In a segment on the Today Show, Dr. Snyderman said she was angered by the fact that 6 infants lost their lives who “frankly should not have died!” As a parent, I can tell you that this is gut wrenching to me. The thought of one of my children dying as an infant from whooping cough when a vaccine would have saved his or her life over-whelms me with guilt. The claims made by Dr. Snyderman were two-fold. If you get vaccinated you will be protected from this disease and anyone who does not get their children vaccinated has blood on their hands. This is a tactic meant to cause a palpable fear of not being able to bear the guilt if your child got this disease. It is very effective, even though it is inaccurate. Now for the rest of the story.
 
The first pro-vaccine claim is that infants are dying needlessly. Is this true? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that you do not get full immunity from this disease until after you get 5 shots. Under the schedule of vaccination this means that your child will not get immunity until he or she is at least 4 years old. The CDC emphasizes that infants under 6 months of age are not yet protected by the whooping cough vaccine. ALL of the children who died in California were under 4 months of age! Thus, the CDC reveals that the whooping cough vaccine would not have been expected to have “saved” these infant’s lives in any case. Dr. Snyderman is either grossly misinformed regarding the facts of the Pertussis vaccine or she is willfully misrepresenting the facts to support her position. In the California whooping cough epidemic, the facts reveal that no lives were lost due to lack of vaccination. The claims by the news media certainly do not accurately reflect this truth.
 
The second pro-vaccine claim is that the vaccine will protect you from the disease. This is an interesting one for me. There is no doubt that the whooping cough vaccine has some effectiveness. But, and this is a huge “But”, a very large portion of the people who got whooping cough in California were fully vaccinated. Now, you will hear them state that they “think” the epidemic is being driven by the non-vaccinated or under-vaccinated. This may or may not be true. We simply do not know. What cannot be denied, however, is that many of the people getting the disease are indeed fully vaccinated. Research showed that 81% of the people who got whooping cough in California were fully vaccinated. This fact is completely glossed over because of the fear that the next logical question will be asked to which they have no answer. How effective is the vaccine if a large number of fully vaccinated people are getting the disease? The answer undermines the implied claim that if you get vaccinated you will be safe from the disease. The reality is that the vaccine does not provide full protection from the disease and is thus, not as good or effective as implied.
 
Later on in the interview, Dr. Snyderman gave a completely ridiculous illustration of how a selfish unvaccinated person puts cancer and Multiple Sclerosis victims at risk when they go grocery shopping. She says the unvaccinated are “offensive and immoral”. How in the world could an unvaccinated person put a vaccinated person at any risk? Again, if the other person was fully vaccinated they would be safe from contracting the disease; would they not? Her illustration was meant to cast aspersions upon the unvaccinated, but it actually undermines her own argument. How can she argue that a vaccinated person is completely protected against contracting a disease unless they come in contact with the disease? See how ridiculous that is? She is either being disingenuous or grossly ignorant. Additionally, her implication is that a person with cancer or M.S. would die if they contracted Pertussis. Yet, this is NOT a deadly disease and deaths from Pertussis are rare. There would be little to no expectation of death in either of these groups of people.
 
Whooping Cough Vaccine Safety
 
Now let me put a spot light on some facts that may cause you to become outraged. The topic of vaccine safety is completely glossed over by advocates like Dr. Snyderman. She simply states that the vaccine is safe under a completely unquestionable tone. The claim of vaccine safety inherently suggests that the benefits greatly outweigh any potential negatives. The facts I am about to share with you come from the CDC’s website. These are official government numbers. They are not taken from some anti-vaccine website. Decide for yourself if you think the whooping cough vaccine is equal in safety to drinking a glass of water, as is always implied.
 
The CDC states that between 2012 and 2015  there were 130,649 cases of Pertussis reported, including 52 deaths (around 30,000 cases with 13 deaths per year). Here is a sickening fact from the CDC VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System): Pertussis containing vaccines caused 147 United States deaths and 156 permanent disabilities between 2012 and 2015! Thus, the vaccine caused almost three times as many deaths as did the disease and disabled another 156 children! Come on…this could not be true. How could our doctors even support this vaccine, let alone claim it to be safe, if this number is true? The answer is that this fact illustrates just how influential the pharmaceutical industry is over your doctors.
 
Prove it to yourself. Ask your doctor if more children currently die from the vaccine or the disease each year. I guarantee you will be told that the disease kills way more than the vaccine and they will minimize the chances of death from the vaccine. The vaccine kills three times as many children as does the disease and disables another 156! I am telling you that this information will be news to your doctor. How could this be? The answer is they only get information from the pharmaceutical industry, which has a very big interest in not letting doctors evaluate the complete facts.
 
To be fair and accurate in my analysis of this vaccine, we have to look at a couple of other facts. Let’s say that no one received the Pertussis vaccine. The number of cases of Pertussis would certainly be higher than the 30,000 cases and 13 deaths per year average between 2012 and 2015. Prior to vaccination there was an average of 175,000 cases of Pertussis per year. At the same rate of death of 52 deaths per 130,649, we would expect to see around 70 deaths a year from Pertussis, if there was no vaccine. Thus, if there was no vaccine, we would see an average of 57 more deaths a year (70 deaths a year without a vaccine minus 13 deaths a year with vaccine).
 
We are not done yet. Notice that I only gave you the CDC’s number for deaths (147) and permanent disabilities (156) caused by Pertussis containing vaccines. In addition, there were 7,447 emergency room visits and 1,238 of those kids were hospitalized! Over-all there were 19,005 adverse reactions reported to the CDC because of Pertussis containing vaccines between 2012 and 2015! In total, 75 children are killed or permanently disabled each year because of this vaccine. Thus, the vaccine actually hurts more people than it helps.
 
Below is a screen shot from the search of negative events between 2012 and 2015:
 
 
Why in the world would your doctor, who so strongly advocates for vaccination, not know this information? How is it that I am the one who is giving you this information instead of the person ordering the injection of vaccine? How many people would actually decide to get the injection if they got all of the information? How much money would then be lost?
 
Now that you have more complete information, ask yourself this question: Is the cure worse than the disease?

The Bottom Line
 
There is no doubt the Pertussis vaccine can be effective. The amount of cases per year has been drastically reduced because of the vaccine. There is also no doubt that the vaccine now kills and permanently disables way more children than does the disease each year.
 
As a parent, you have to make the decision as to whether you think the risk of your child getting this disease is worth the risk of injecting them with the vaccine. I would be willing to bet that the parents of the 7,447 children who went to the E.R. after receiving this injection would strongly disagree with the medical community's characterization of the vaccine as unquestionably safe. I know that the parents of those killed and disabled by the vaccine would more than disagree.
 
You have to consider the fact that at this point in time your child is more likely to have their lives ruined from the injected vaccine than from the disease itself. I fully understand the argument that if no one vaccinates the disease will increase. But the numbers show that the vaccine is indeed more dangerous than the disease even if we did not vaccinate at all.
 
Could you live with yourself if your child was permanently damaged or killed by the vaccine when the risk of dying from the disease was lower than the risk of dying from being injected by the vaccine? See how that scare tactic can be utilized both ways? My recommendation is if the risk changes, due to lack of vaccination and increased disease, you can always choose to vaccinate at that time.
 
Dr. Snyderman (along with the majority of the medical community) states that she is unapologetically pro-vaccine. Maybe she and the medical community should consider working on an apology.
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Comment By: Kellie Woods
Posted on July 12, 2017 1:18 PM

Hi Dr. Zimmer. This is so timely. We are going to be blessed with our first grandchild in August and the parents have asked us to get this vaccination. I didn't give it a second thought - before reading this article. I forwarded your article to my son so he and his wife can think a bit more about the vaccine as well. Thanks for keeping us informed. P.S. Would you get it for your grandchild's sake?

Last Edited: 07/12/2017 at 05:23 PM
Comment By: Dr. Zimmer
Posted on July 12, 2017 5:59 PM

Hi, Kellie. Thank you for the question. The biggest problem is that they only give the Pertussis vaccine in combination with Tetanus and Diptheria vaccines. I am rewriting my Roll Up Your Sleeves: Say No to These 3 Shots. Tetanus is one of those. I can email the article if you are interested. This is a perfect example of using scare tactics to push the vaccine. Personally, I would not get it.