Whooping Cough – Why Are We Really Having Outbreaks?

Whooping Cough - Why Are We Really Having Outbreaks?

Firstly, I want to make it very clear: BellyBelly has always been pro-choice. We’re not here to tell you what to do.

We encourage you to research both sides of any story and make the decision that’s right for you and your family. Question this article, question the media (whose job it is to create shock and hysteria to get attention), question what your doctor tells you, and see what feels right for you.

This piece has been written to help others understand rather than rip into each other for their choices.

At the end of the day, we all want answers and the best for our children.

Whooping Cough Outbreaks: Why?

It seems like every other day, global and local media report about about outbreaks of whooping cough, even amongst fully vaccinated children.

And almost every other day, there’s an uproar about “disease causing” kids who aren’t vaccinated, ruining our “herd immunity”. Interestingly, in the US, it’s believed around 50% of adults are not up-to-date on vaccines, so it’s not the herd immunity you’d imagine.

There are calls to increase vaccination rates too, but even with 90-95% vaccination rates, record breaking outbreaks had already begun.

Recently, a school in the United States with a vaccination rate of 99.5% experienced a whooping cough outbreak, with four children being diagnosed.

So it’s time to scratch off the surface and take a serious look at the real evidence of what’s going on here.

As they say, if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same results.

So let’s focus on what research has been discovering about the possible reasons behind the growing outbreaks.

Even those who are pro-vaccination have been changing their minds about the whooping cough vaccine.

One writer says, “Until today I had assumed that anyone rejecting the whooping cough vaccine for their kids was an anti-vaxxer nutter. I was wrong.”

And another, “I used to think that parents who didn’t want to vaccinate their children were either ignorant, or sociopathic.”

That’s because something isn’t right here. The solution isn’t as simple as more kids being vaccinated. The problem is the vaccine.

Understanding The History Of The Whooping Cough Vaccine

For those who don’t know a great deal about the history of the whooping cough vaccine, we currently use an acellular vaccine instead of the original whole cell vaccine.

While the whole cell vaccine was deemed to be highly effective, the high rate of adverse reactions was a big problem.

The vaccine also contained aluminum and thiomersal (a mercury containing compound).

Therefore, in 1991, an acellular vaccine was developed to address safety concerns.

Forward to today, the amount of global research questioning the acellular vaccine’s effectiveness has been gaining momentum.

An article titled ‘Whooping cough increase related to current vaccine’ was published by the ABC in 2015, discussing the results of a study.

In the study, researchers suggest the newer acellular vaccine is to blame for the increased outbreaks, and the only reason we’re seeing outbreaks all this time later is due to the time its taken to show up in data.

Associate Professor Manoj Gambhir, from the University of Monash co-led the study. “You didn’t see an immediate increase [in whooping cough],” he says. “It has taken cohorts of children to have all of their doses to be the new vaccine for the increases in disease to manifest themselves.”

In the New England Journal Of Medicine, a study on the waning effects of the whooping cough vaccine found “after the fifth dose of DTaP, the odds of acquiring pertussis increased by an average of 42% per year.”

Low Vaccination Rates Are Not The Smoking Gun

More children are vaccinated than ever.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 1989-90, 59% of children aged 0-6 years were fully immunised (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles and mumps), and 4% were not immunised against any conditions.

Low vaccination rates are not to blame for the current whooping cough epidemic – bearing in mind pertussis is a cyclical disease in nature, and is well known for peaking every 2-5 years.

Again from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, “Recently [published 1994] there has been concern over perceived low levels of immunisation against conditions such as whooping cough and measles in Australia. There have also been reported outbreaks of these diseases in some States… In addition there were 153 cases of whooping cough in 1988 compared to 3,956 in 1993. However, deaths from these two conditions remain low with 18 deaths due to measles and 6 due to whooping cough in the period 1988-92.”

A study published on the CDC’s website shows exactly why the “No Jab, No Play” legislation is not a magic solution – and this was the supposedly more effective whole cell vaccine:

Whooping Cough - Why Are We Really Having Outbreaks?

Why Isn’t The Whooping Cough Vaccine Working So Well?

Of course, no vaccine is 100% effective, especially the vaccine for whooping cough, which is said to have an efficacy rate of 70-80%. Immunity is never guaranteed with vaccines and they often wear off before the given period – especially whooping cough.

But what if the vaccinated herd can become infected, be asymptomatic and even spread the disease?

According to an Australian study funded by the highly respected National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, researchers found 80% of cases were due to the bacteria’s mutation, most likely in response to the vaccine. The disease-causing bacteria responsible for whooping cough, pertussis, has stopped producing a key protein, called pertactin.

Pertactin-free bacteria shot up from just 5% in 2008 to 78% in 2012. Somehow, the bacteria stopped producing pertactin, and this has caused havoc for the vaccine, which targets this protein. Pertussis decided to get clever, and it’s now one step ahead.

Senior author of the study, Associate Professor Ruiting Lan, explained, “It’s like a game of hide and seek. It is harder for the antibodies made by the body’s immune system in response to vaccination to ‘search and destroy’ the whooping cough bacteria which lack pertactin.”

Ms Connie Lam, who led the study at the University of NSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, said, “The fact that they have arisen independently in different countries suggests it’s a response to the vaccine.”

Australia isn’t the only one noticing this trend.

In the minutes of the CDC’s Meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors in 2013, they already knew the whooping cough bacteria was mutating:

“A recent study suggests another explanation for decreased vaccine effectiveness: an increase in Bordetella pertussis isolates that lack pertactin (PRN) — a key antigen component of the acellular pertussis vaccine. A study that screened B. pertussis strains isolated between 1935 and 2012 for gene insertions that prevent production of PRN found significant increases in PRN-deficient isolates throughout the United States. The earliest PRN-deficient strain was isolated in 1994; by 2012, the percentage of PRN-deficient isolates was more than 50%.”

They continued, “Findings indicated that 85% of the isolates were PRN-deficient and vaccinated patients had significantly higher odds than unvaccinated patients of being infected with PRN-deficient strains. Moreover, when patients with up-to-date DTaP vaccinations were compared to unvaccinated patients, the odds of being infected with PRN-deficient strains increased, suggesting that PRN-bacteria may have a selective advantage in infecting DTaP-vaccinated persons.”

There is plenty of research which has nothing to do with a small percent of non-vaccinated children.

Increasing the vaccination rates a few percent is not going to significantly improve “herd immunity,” which is considered to be in place when a certain percent of the population (usually 90%-95%, a number which has been increasing over the years from around 60%) have vaccine induced immunity – which is not real, ever lasting, natural immunity.

Death Rates From Whooping Cough

Obviously, death from whooping cough is what people fear most, and this is what vaccination campaigns assure us they are hoping to prevent.

Looking at historical data around the world, from Australia, to the UK and the US, whooping cough deaths were already significantly declining in a similar trend, before the introduction of the whooping cough vaccine in the 1950s to 1960s.

There were a range of vaccines trialled in the 10 or so years before then, but many were not backed by what was considered to be good research or safe ingredients.

This was not too long after antibiotics became available and we learnt how to care for those with whooping cough.

As you can see, deaths were much more common in the early 1900s, but they were surely declining. This can be attributed to better infection control, sanitation, nutrition and antibiotics. Of course as time goes on, we learn more about how to treat disease and the immune system – which is still a mystery we’re unfolding. Science is never settled – we’re learning and studying every day.

Not to mention that back in the early 1900s, there were brutal medical practices like twilight sleep for birthing women. Thank goodness we still don’t do that, because we know better now.

We’ve learnt many things since ‘the old days when so many people died’.

In the mid 1800s, it was a switched on Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis who discovered the cause of death of many new mothers. When doctors performed autopsies and then attended to birthing women (without washing their hands or changing their clothes), he noticed women would develop puerperal fever and die.

Of course, when he shared this life saving information, he was ridiculed by his profession – doctors couldn’t possibly be responsible for a thing like that! He was thrown in an asylum where sadly, he died. You can read the fascinating story in out article, here. Unfortunately, this bad treatment of thinking professionals tends to happen when their new hypothesis doesn’t look favourably on others.

Whooping Cough - Why Are We Really Having Outbreaks?

Cocooning – Protecting Babies By Vaccinating Families?

Cocooning is a vaccination strategy recommended by the CDC for the last decade or more.

It means having the whole family vaccinated, to protect infants who are vulnerable to whooping cough, especially in the first few months of life.

Australia responded to the recommendations, with the previous government establishing a free family vaccination program.

However, the government eventually stopped the scheme, claiming, “The national Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) had determined vaccinating parents was not effective in protecting newborns, after two pharmaceutical manufacturers made submissions to the PBAC.”

“The PBAC, which is totally independent and very expert, has determined that there is no clinical effectiveness of this strategy,” Professor Brook said. He said this had made it clear the cocooning strategy should not be continued.

Yet, the new Victorian government headed by Daniel Andrews has re-introduced the whooping cough vaccination scheme worth $8.4 million over four years, much to the delight of a huge number of voters. But, will it really impact cases of whooping cough with the current vaccine and all of it’s flaws?

Many health professionals are admitting cocooning is not effective enough, because the known source of whooping cough infection is found in just 44% of cases.

Tami Skoff, a study author and investigator with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was quoted as saying, “Cocooning is difficult to achieve. Plus, infants can contract whooping cough from anyone, not just family members”.

The results from a more recent study are similar to many others, finding, “vaccinating individuals in close contact with infants too young to receive the vaccine (“cocooning” unvaccinated children) may be ineffective.” They too cite asymptomatic transmission to be the most likely cause behind the current whooping cough resurgance. They conclude:

“… asymptomatic transmission is the most parsimonious explanation for many of the observations surrounding the resurgence of B. pertussis in the US and UK. These results have important implications for B. pertussis vaccination policy and present a complicated scenario for achieving herd immunity and B. pertussis eradication.”

The whooping cough mortality rate for babies under 6 months of age is 0.5%. This means 99.5% of babies with whooping cough will not die. While it would be wonderful if no babies died from whooping cough, it does not seem possible with the current vaccine. Nor does it seem likely that we’ll eradicate whooping cough altogether.

Evidence Of Vaccinated Individuals Spreading Pertussis

If a 70-80% efficacy rate, waning immunity and mutating bacteria wasn’t enough, there is also research showing those who are vaccinated may not show any symptoms (which is called being asymptomatic), but they may be a source of infection. The vaccine for whooping cough is not live, so it doesn’t shed like other vaccines (for example, the oral polio vaccine).

What shedding means is if a baby has the oral polio vaccine, the virus can be found in their faeces for weeks. If susceptible people come into contact with the faeces, they could catch it – which is how it so easily spreads in third world countries with poor sanitation.

But the unexpected way in which whooping cough is believed to be transmitted by vaccinated individuals is via the bacteria in their throats, enabling them to infect others while not showing symptoms themselves.

A study, which included both the whole cell vaccine and the acellular vaccine, was undertaken on baboons. They were vaccinated in accordance with the infant vaccination schedule.

The FDA released a statement about the results, confirming that after exposure to whooping cough, the baboons who received the acellular pertussis vaccine had the bacteria in their airways for up to six weeks. This then enables them to spread whooping cough. The baboons who received the whole cell vaccine were able to get rid of the bacteria within three weeks.

A microbiologist, Doctor Tod J. Merkel, is the lead author of the baboon study. He’s also a researcher in the Office of Vaccines Research and Review for the FDA. In an article for the New York Times, he said, “When you’re newly vaccinated you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population.”

There is another study on mice, claiming the current acellular vaccine may facilitate infection with Bordetella parapertussis, which is a bacteria similar to pertussis. They can both cause whooping cough outbreaks, however parapertussis can be asymptomatic and the symptoms may not last as long.

“We show that aP vaccination [acellular vaccine] helped clear B. pertussis but resulted in an approximately 40-fold increase in B. parapertussis lung colony-forming units (CFUs) …. Further, we show that aP vaccination impedes host immunity against B. parapertussis-measured as reduced lung inflammatory and neutrophil responses. Thus, we conclude that aP vaccination interferes with the optimal clearance of B. parapertussis and enhances the performance of this pathogen. Our data raise the possibility that widespread aP vaccination can create hosts more susceptible to B. parapertussis infection.

“These data suggest that the vaccine may be contributing to the observed rise in whooping cough incidence over the last decade by promoting B. parapertussis infection.”

Even Vaccinated Health Workers Have Been Found To Spread Whooping Cough

Babies tend to come into contact with people frequently, especially health care professionals. Recently in the media, a maternal and child health nurse was diagnosed whooping cough, after working with mothers and babies. She was only 5 years into her 10 year booster shot.

In addition, a study found newborn babies had contracted whooping cough from a fully vaccinated healthcare provider, where no other possible infection sources were found.

So, Houston, we have a problem.

As you can see, there are all sorts of problems vaccine developers need to address. One of the biggest problems (along with all-important vaccine safety) is stopping both the infection and transmission (from vaccinated persons) of whooping cough.

In the meantime, i’ve been hearing about a growing number of adults (with a cough) who had visited their local doctor, only to be told it’s not whooping cough, because they’ve already been vaccinated. They get their whooping cough diagnosis two or so weeks later when they go back to their doctor, for help with the cough that’s still going on.

During that time before diagnosis, they’re out in public, at work, in crowded public places, and perhaps around babies. Maybe they’re one of the people who blame the non-vaccinated members of our population for whooping cough outbreaks, not realising that the vaccinated are now looking to be the biggest source of infection.

As per the CDC’s publication, a recent study by Yaari et al. showed that infection in a vaccinated person causes milder, nonspecific disease, without the three classical clinical stages.

They continue, “Because of these atypical symptoms, pertussis infection is underdiagnosed in adults and adolescents, who may be reservoirs for infection of unvaccinated infants.”

We need to ask more questions. We can’t just jump on the bandwagon of media hype, every time a news outlet publishes yet another witch-hunt article about highly reckless, disease-causing unvaccinated people who are a whole bunch of cray cray.

They know it incites heated discussion, hatred and fear, as well as generating visitors to their website, creating support and solidarity for their publication. It’s good for them, and bad for parents who are then pitched against one another.

Remember, just because a choice is unpopular, it doesn’t necessarily make it a bad one. Nor is it that unbelievable for vaccines to be more than a little ineffective. Even WebMD recently wrote about the 18% “success” rate of the flu vaccine.

Who knows, what if we’re headed down the very same path we took with antibiotic over-use? We now have super bugs that don’t respond to any treatments. Could overuse of vaccine products put us in the same position?

Instead of attacking people, we need to attack the problem. Until a new, safe and more reliable vaccine is developed, let’s be kind and respect one another’s choices. We’re all doing the very best we can, just like the researchers are.

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Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a writer, doula (trained in 2005), and a mother of three awesome children. She's passionate about informing and educating fellow thinking parents and parents-to-be, especially about all the things she wishes she knew before she had her firstborn. Kelly is also passionate about travel, tea, travel, and animal rights and welfare. And travel.


  1. Great to hear an open minded article, that doesn’t try and label right and wrong, but intelligently raises concerns and questions – especially about the long term evolutionary cobsequences of trying to control nature.

  2. Thank you so very much for this article. The current “No Jab No Play” campaign has really divided the community and I’ve seen vilification of parents who have chosen not to vaccinate on social media. If only our politicians would take the time to read some “real” science.

  3. If you really believe that vaccination will not immune you from whooping cough, I challenge you and your family to travel to Liberia without vaccination. Then and only then I would subscribe to your analysis

    1. My article is full of research, from university educated researchers, backed and funded by peak health bodies. It’s not a personal opinon. All the media is ranting about is non-vaccinated children causing these outbreaks.

      Some countries have populations where disease is rife, due to poor nutrition, sanitation, poverty and welfare… disease does run rife in these places. We should help these countries to be able to afford clean water, good santitation, heathcare – gosh if only a fraction of the money pharmaceutical companies made with vaccines could be donated to these countries to do that, it’d be a different story. But they aren’t in the business of charity. They run a business, and need to make money on products.

      Read and research, the vaccine pre 95 actually worked, but now is deemed to dangerous to use. The GMO, ie acellular “”part vaccines” are creating havoac, creating new diseases, shedding the new illnesses from the vaccines (yes the new vaccine atypical measles, spread by vaccinated, is twice as deadly, and those infected, dont even get damn spots)………. Petussis vaccine, lasts less than 5 years………….. and while you are vaccine protected, yes you can be a carrier. Mumps vaccine lasts as little as 2 years, and Merck just got fined 3 million for fraud (yes the mumps vaccine). Every pharma company GSK, Merck, you name it, all BEEN FINED FOR FRAUD, SOME MANY TIMES, all within the last three years. Biggest fraud fine 3 BILLION DOLLARS, gsk,,,,,,,,,,,,,, but just a cost of doing business, as their drug of death, has already made 14 DAMN BILLION………. Yes crime DOES PAY< if you a pharma company…………especially USA.

  4. Wow – someone that can write truthfully about such a contentious issue. Thank you for taking the time to research and report/educate others without reservation.

    People have the right to understand exactly what they are injecting into themselves and their children and make an educated decision for themselves, without fear of judgement!

    At the end of the day, vaccinations are a medical procedure that require the consideration of the risks of having the vaccination vs not, fear mongering and bullying parents is not the right approach.

    Until they can guarantee that vaccinations are 100% safe – or they can conduct a test on recipients before receiving the vaccination to ensure that they will NOT have a serious adverse reaction then the judgement on parents who choose not to vaccinate needs to stop.

    1. Well said Haley………… These vaccines, since 1995+ dont work…………. They are GMO type trials of part vaccines, never ever tested. Measles vaccines, now spread atypical measles (a vaccine strains, no spots), Pertussis is spread from fully vaccinated mothers to their own infants and blamed on a mythical non vaccinated person who lurks in maternity wards, absolute bull. The reports are there, even FDA, Australian Government, the reports are there, but people just seem to believe if the old vaccines worked, the new ones will…………. They dont work. Mumps vaccine? Two years, Perutssis vaccine? five years after vaccination, only 30% are vaccine immune, after 10- years NONE> The lies, are astounding. But the particular harm of the pertussis vaccine? If you vaccine immune, you can and will carry pertussis, in your throat, no symptoms, for 8 weeks, after each new infection……… oh, yes, keeps pertussis alive and well. If you are a carrier (fully vaccinated) yes you infect your own infant, and your “”pretend” vaccine immunity, unlike true immunity, does not pass to your baby via breastmilk and antibodies. Yes Merck Murder.
      I tested for pertussis in an outbreak in 2010, damn I beleive vaccines worked until then. All fully vaccinated, all aged 6-12, all victims of the now infamous failed pertussi vaccine acellular, given since 95. The doctors did not even think to test for pertussis, amongst fully vaccinated, until thes kids been coughing everywhere for damn 6-8 weeks……………….. And how absurd, they could all go to school because they were vaccinated………….. spreading disease, far and wide. Those with no symptoms, non vaccinated, THAT IS HAVE NO ILLNESS, CAN NOT SPREAD AN ILLNESS THEY DIDNT HAVE, get banned from school? The world has gone mad, or is it just Pharma greed, and the govt corruption that follows it?

  5. “In the meantime, sick patients are visiting their doctors, being told they don’t have whooping cough, because they’ve already been vaccinated. In the meantime, they’re out in public, likely around babies. Maybe they’re one of the people who blame the non-vaccinated members of our population for whooping cough outbreaks, not realising they are a source of infection.”

    Do you have any evidence to back this up or is it just speculation?

    “We can’t just jump on the bandwagon of media hype, every time a news outlet publishes yet another witch-hunt article about the highly reckless, disease-causing unvaccinated people who are a whole bunch of cray cray. They know it incites heated discussion, generates visitors to their website and creates support for their publication. It’s good for them, and bad for parents who are pitched against one another.”

    Do you not feel that you are possibly also creating hype with this article and hoping to generate visitors by doing so? Conflict of interest there.

    1. I don’t have a study to show you that misdiagnosis is happening. But yes, there have been actual cases lately where known people went to their doctor, told it wasn’t whooping cough, only to be diagnosed later. We also know (study as linked) there are asymptomatic carriers out there, even in the maternity ward, medical carers.

      I’m not pitching parents against one another like other publications who are calling one side a dirty bunch of reckless hippies (not in those words, but have seen some very aggressive headlines from media lately). I even finished the article saying lets support each other’s decisions, we’re all doing the best we can.

      The points you’ve chosen to pick are tiny points in a very important article, with loads of studies and research from university educated researchers and professionals affiliated with peak health bodies.

      No matter where on the internet, you can speak an opinion. Then you get called out for research to prove your point. Then you get called out for your research sources, and are told to use Pubmed. Then you use Pudmed, then they ask for blood. It’s crazy. Yet we trust corporations more than that?

      Coca Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame For Obesity Away From Bad Diets

      Gotta keep the shareholders happy and increase growth in trying times.

      1. Kelly thanks for this superb article.

        We do actually have proof that doctors use immunisation status to differentially diagnose.

        Here they are for various diseases:

        “To minimize the problem of false positive laboratory results, it is important to restrict case investigation and laboratory tests to patients most likely to have measles (i.e., those who meet the clinical case definition, especially if they have risk factors for measles, such as being unvaccinated,[…]”


        And here is the UK’s National Health Service: “Following assessment, if a diagnosis of measles is considered likely, it is essential to notify the local Health Protection Unit (HPU)” and subsequently: “Measles is very unlikely in people who have been fully immunized”, followed by “Consider a different cause if the patient is likely to have immunity” https://cks.nice.org.uk/measles#!diagnosissub

        And this is for diphtheria: “Because diphtheria has occurred only rarely in the United States in recent years, many clinicians may not include diphtheria in their differential diagnoses. Clinicians are reminded to consider the diagnosis of respiratory diphtheria in patients with membranous pharyngitis and who are not up-to-date with vaccination against diphtheria.”


        And this is for pertussis https://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/pertussis/professionals-professionnels-eng.php. According to the Canadian Public Health Agency only those who are not vaccinated (or for whom immunity has ‘waned’) are “at risk”.

        Note that you won’t be able to access the UK site if you don’t live in the UK but I have the screenshots.

        Interestingly, if you read the Canadian site it says that the whole cell vaccine was largely ineffective. Just goes to show they can’t get their stories straight.

        It is highly likely that the rise in pertussis in Australia has nothing to do with the move from an effective vaccine to an ineffective one because the first one was never effective in the first place. What has happened is that doctors in Australia became more inclined to diagnose pertussis *even if the patient was vaccinated* whereas before they would have differentially diagnosed on that basis. In short, doctors are losing faith in the vaccine and this is leading to the data we are currently seeing – ie that no matter how many people vaccinate people still get pertussis.

        It is a very small stretch to say that the apparent success of *all* vaccines is purely about doctors’ willingness to diagnose it if the patient is vaccinated or if they will simply differentially diagnose on the basis of vaccination status (DD). In the case of measles doctors will probably DD. In the case of pertussis they often will but often won’t. In the case of smallpox or polio or diphtheria they most definitely will and in the case of flu they almost definitely won’t.

        So that right there is your difference between the “good” vaccines, the ok ones and the completely useless ones.

        It is all a mirage.

      2. yes i can verify i know two adults recently who were fully up to date with boosters have had whooping cough and not been given final diagnosis for up to 5 weeks after initial symptoms, working around children. They were both only diagnosed after every other thing had been tested for.

      3. My three children age 4,3,1, were all fully vaccinated and ALL got pertussis. It took 3 weeks for the dr’s to finally listen to me and run some tests because according to them there was no way my children could get it while fully vaccinated. So yes my children did spread it at kindy, church, the supermarket…..

        1. I have heard this quite a few times Samantha. As I have heard in some cases the vaccinated kids had it worse than the non-vaxed. It’s a nasty thing to have, I just hope they can come up with something more reliable and safer very soon.

  6. So if the pertussis vaccine is not 100% effective – let’s say, for the purposes of this argument, that it’s 80% effective.

    Well, isn’t it better (in terms of spread of disease etc) for everyone to be immunised at 80% effectiveness, than for people to not be immunised, or for some to have 80% effectiveness and some to have 0% effectiveness?

    Say you take vitamin C and ecinachea for colds. You know that they are not going to stop you 100% from having a cold – you might still get a cold anyway – but you know that they may help boost your immunity against a cold.

    Shouldn’t we look at immunisations in a similar way – just take them, to get as much immunity as you possibly can, even if they aren’t 100% effective?

    1. No you can’t look at them in the same way because a) even if you believe they work they cannot (even theoretically) create herd immunity so there is no reason to demand others get them for your benefit; and b) given the risks associated with the vaccine and the cost of the program itself the costs and benefit ratio is changed.

      At any rate the official data would suggest they are approximately zero per cent effective. Ratios of vaccinated to unvaccinated in terms of notification data (which is massively biased in favour of the vaccine) would suggest that it is nigh on useless. And indeed there have been several outbreaks of several dozen children in the same class getting pertussis. This simply wouldn’t be possible if the vaccine was 80 per cent effective. The odds would be one in a googolplex (ok that was a guess but it would be in that ballpark).

    2. then the issue is you can be an asymptomatic carrier, walking around spreading the disease to people, whilst the healthy unvaccinated cop the blame and attacks on their families.

    3. Well, yes that sounds good in theory, but it’s not quite so clear-cut because there are unforseen consequences that are starting to come to light regarding this vaccine.
      1. It seems as if vaccinated people are less likely to realize they’re infectious (because their symptoms are milder and may not have the tell-tale “whoop” noise), and therefore isolate themselves at home to avoid passing on the infection to others in the community. This problem is further compounded by a reluctance to test vaccinated people for the disease they have been vaccinated against, even if they present with symptoms (as advised by the CDC, supposedly to eliminate the risk of “false positives”).
      2. The mutation of the bacteria seems to be in response to widespread vaccination. In fact, the new strain of bacteria, known as B. parapertussis now accounts for some 84% of new cases. See here: https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-21/whooping-cough-strain-27breaking-through-vaccines27/3902762
      Vaccinating everyone, “just in case” is not going to solve those problems, and in fact, could well be making the situation worse, as suggested by this recent study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26103968

    4. If pure vitamin C was the injectable in question then this wouldn’t even be an issue. Be wary of any statistics associated with this issue as whole populations are being given vaccines as part of a giant, poorly controlled experiment with vast numbers of poorly known variables. Please Apply Precautionary principle.

  7. Thankyou, finally a decent article on whooping cough, and the failure of the 1995+ acellular vaccine. An outbreak in a town of 45,000, yes hundreds of ALL FULLY VACCINATED KIDS, had been coughing and spluttering for at least 6 weeks, most, before being tested, yes all had pertussis. All be spreading it, believing the Merck myth that it couldnt be pertussis. Australian health department, then tested kids that age, with no symptoms, yes THEY WERE CARRIERS, WITH PERTUSSIS IN THEIR THROATS, NO SYMPTOMS.
    Took three damn years, and about 4 other nations, and thousands of real live, real people, records, what did FDA do? Yep waited three years, found some obscure funding, and bought some damn baboons. They could not lie with their findings, as the world was watching. What they did, was test this vaccine against a vaccine THAT HASNT BEEN USED FOR 20 YEARS. Called muddying the waters.
    Anyway here is the actual FDA, babboons report…………… (Yes billions made flogging worthless vaccines, yet no money to test it when it fails? Absurd, corrupt, and yes they still using this horrific vaccines) Yes mothers with no symptoms, infect their own babies……………….. but of course, they never tested this on the baboons, wonder why not? Ran out of funding? FDA had already been given 100,000 reports, of real infections, real people (not baboons), all fully vaccinated, and yes, even infecting their own babies.
    For Immediate Release: Nov. 27, 2013
    Media Inquiries: FDA- Jennifer Rodriguez, 301-796-8232, jennifer.rodriguez@fda.hhs.gov
    NIH- Nalini Padmanabhan, 301-402-1663, padmanabhannm@niaid.nih.gov
    Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA,OCOD@fda.hhs.gov

    FDA study helps provide an understanding of rising rates of whooping cough and response to vaccination

  8. Great article and much information for those who know nothing about vaccination. It takes many years of research to reach the stage where you speak openly against vaccines, but you do not really have to be a rocket scientist to understand that giving a newborn baby an hepatitis B injection is an abomination. This in itself will destroy or compromise the immune system, and the poor little baby will catch anything that is going around. If that is not enough, after a few weeks they are then given a little dose of diphtheria, tetanus,and whooping cough, and polio, etc. etc. etc. all of which disappeared many years ago and well before vaccines were introduced. The vaccine industry needs to be destroyed and those reaping the benefits called to account for their crimes against humanity.
    We have had enough of this insanity.

  9. Cocooning strategy was an experiment and may well have increased the number of whooping cough cases in 2010.
    -California Whooping Cough outbreak: 91% fully vaccinated. ” High disease rates also were observed in fully vaccinated preadolescents, especially 10-year-olds” Infants that died were not old enough to receive the DPT vaccine. California pertussis epidemic, 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih(dot)gov/pubmed/22819634 *

    Australia ends funding for this experiment because it is ineffective.
    States ending free parent whooping vaccine:https://www.news(dot)com.au/breaking-news/states-ending-free-parent-whooping-vaccine/story-e6frfku0-1226350174856.

    -Nearly a century after the release of the whooping cough (B. Pertussis) vaccine, mounting evidence suggests that widespread mandated use of the vaccine could potentially be doing more harm than good in the long term—in addition to having been found lacking in the effectiveness department. As reported by The Washington Post:
    “The research suggests that while the vaccine may keep people from getting sick, it doesn’t prevent them from spreading whooping cough — also known as Pertussis — to others.

    ‘It could explain the increase in Pertussis that we’re seeing in the US,’ said one of the researchers, Tod Merkel of the Food and Drug Administration…

    The study, titled: “Acellular Pertussis vaccines protect against disease but fail to prevent infection and transmission in a nonhuman primate model,” used infant baboons to test the hypothesis that “current acellular pertussis vaccines fail to prevent colonization and transmission” of B. Pertussis. (there is no vaccine for Bordetella Pertussis virus) https://www.pnas (dot) org/content/111/2/787

    Lead author Tod Merkel did comment to the New York Times that when exposed to B. Pertussis after recently getting vaccinated, you could be an asymptomatic carrier and infect others, saying:

    “When you’re newly vaccinated, you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population.” According to Tod Merkel of the FDA, it has now become clear that the vaccine does almost nothing to prevent the spread of whooping cough. Although it does seem to prevent about 80 percent of people from showing symptoms of the disease, it does not prevent them from catching it or spreading it.

    Most current study:
    Study: Whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they’re infectious? clinicalnews(dot)org/2015/06/24/study-whooping-cough-resurgence-due-to-vaccinated-people-not-knowing-theyre-infectious/comment-page-1/. From study/article:

    “a detailed epidemiological model of whooping cough transmission to conclude that acellular vaccines may well have contributed to — even exacerbated — the recent pertussis outbreak by allowing infected
    individuals without symptoms to unknowingly spread pertussis multiple times in their lifetimes.

    ‘There could be millions of people out there with just a minor cough or no cough spreading this potentially fatal disease without knowing it,’ said Althouse. ‘The public health community should act now to better assess the true burden of pertussis infection.’

    What’s worse, their model shows that if the disease can be spread through vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals essentially undetected.

  10. Well. Kelly Winder obviously can’t science…nor can she read facts. But I’m sure she gets a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings reading all the comments from the antivaxxers. Shame on you Belly Belly for publishing and promoting blatant misinformation.

    1. Obviously if you had any cogent information to discredit this article you would have presented it instead of posting a hit and run comment. So typical of a troll.

  11. Fantastic article! Would it be possible to get the list of references you used as I would like to do some further reading. I’m a full time university student in health science so this is definitely reading I want and need to do. Thanks

  12. Kelly, if someone with an education in the sciences and healthcare were to write a response to this article, including a critical analysis of the evidence presented, would you publish it here, unedited/unaltered?

    1. I’m definitely open to considering it, on the basis it was constructive and addressing the research strengths and flaws, and was not a direct attack. That’s the thing, I am not pro or anti vaccination and respect parents for whatever choice they make about anything – pregnancy, birth and parenting is full of risks, yet we treat smokers with more dignity and respect, even though their choice can give themselves and others around them cancer.

      I have no problem considering two sides of a story and discussing it. But on this topic, it’s hard to find a source of both sides which are not hysterical. There is so much emotion and nastiness vested into this topic, that I have no time for it. If someone can fairly and politely compile a response, with the intent to help others understand and explain, then I would be more open to it. So, so sick of the fighting and nastiness.

    2. Troy, I would be interested in reading a response. This article by Kelly is entirely consistent with the research I have done for several years. I have often thought about raising my concerns about the pertussis vaccine with an expert because no one has been able to address my concerns, the same concerns that Kelly has raised.

      1. I’m currently in the middle of exams, but first on my post-exams to-do list is said critique & analysis of the evidence presented, along with any other evidence that I come across whilst researching for the response.

        Like Kelly, I’m particularly interested in any patterns or recent discoveries pertaining to this topic, though my interest is professional as I work in the rehab sphere. My concern is the aspect of educating people with accurate information and research interpretations… it’s very easy to fall into misinterpretation and bias traps.

        Kelly, I’ll begin the analysis around the 20th November and expect to have a response within a week, maybe 10 days of that, depending on whether or not I need to consult any colleagues/academics/researchers for input on any of the research.

  13. What were the morbidity rates of whooping before and after the vaccine? Your source for your graph you have on here is from Collective Evolution, an anti-vaccine conspiracy website. Not exactly credible.

    From the CDC:

    “Before the availability of pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, more than 200,000 cases of pertussis were reported annually. Since widespread use of the vaccine began, incidence has decreased more than 80% compared with the prevaccine era.”

  14. Why are you deleting my comments? Just asked if you had seen the data on whooping cough morbidity (not mortality) pre and post vaccine? It’s a classic anti-vaccine strategy to claim vaccine preventable diseases were declining before vaccines came around by only looking at death rates, not incidence. People were surviving getting the diseases because of advances in health care at the time. It’s only after the vaccines were introduced that the incidence of the diseases (including pertussis) began to decline.

    Also, you source Collective Evolution, an anti-vaccine conspiracy theory website while claiming your article is based only in facts and science.

    1. I’m not deleting your comments. All comments need to be approved before posting, and I get around to approving comments when I can (I have well over 1,000 in the queue, with well over 1,000 articles). Most of my time is spent writing.

  15. As a midwife I have found this article very interesting, well written and worth considering as I am encouraged to reccomend the booster for expecting parents.
    I have long been offered the argument of cocooning being ineffective (if not counter-productive), and feel you have explained this really well.
    I feel as though vaccinating mothers in the third trimester may help reduce the severity of illness if a newborn were to contract pertussis (by providing some potential immunity), however I would then have to recommend NOT encouraging family members to be vaccinated (1. so they dont ‘shed’ the illness in first 6 wks and 2. so if infected they will have symptoms to prompt them to stay away).
    Should we also then specifically ensure expecting mothers have it at least 6wks prior to birth to ensure they arent ‘shedding’ the disease to their newborn also??
    A complex situation and one of many big decisions new parents must make!

    1. Thanks for the comment Ashlea, I agree, it’s so complex with conflicting information and advice everywhere. In the panic, everyone is rushing out to get family members vaccinated before a baby comes along. But if they do want to get vaccinated, I agree, make it at least 6 weeks before the baby is expected to arrive – earlier if possible, as we know babies do come early sometimes. As mentioned, vaccinated individuals don’t shed, but the bacteria can remain in their throats for 6 weeks. A cough is all it takes – and they can have no symptoms to give it away either.

  16. Great article. It’s a shame that the Vic government doesn’t take such a sensible stance – forcing parents to vaccinate or not be able to send their kids to childcare and kinder.

  17. Kelly, just wondering – are you able to provide a link to the Australian study you have referenced? I am unable to find it and would like to show it to some people. Thanks 🙂

  18. So open minded your brains fall out.

    There are not “two sides” to this issue. There is medical science, and then there is deadly nonsense. Anti vaccination movement in all it’s forms is deadly nonsense. The snake oil of the 21st century. The almost complete eradication of diseases that once stalked the land has made you complacent and ignorant.

  19. What a fantastic article… you are brave to write this because so many people who question vaccination are torn down in a storm of hatred. It seems vaccine science has become like a religion – allowed to make whatever claims it likes and if you question it then you are going to hell. All we want it the truth. I don’t want to see any parent forced to make the decision to vaccinate so they can feed their family or just survive… in light of this information it seems just ridiculous.

  20. I know the article was published a long time ago, but here is a link to some very relevant research confirming exactly what it says:
    Points to note:
    – asymptomatic carriers spreading the disease
    – clueless doctors who do not identify them because they are vaccinated so they “cannot have the disease”
    – the only group of children to NOT get the disease were the three who were not vaccinated
    – herd immunity does not exist

    Which is why the News Corp campaign to get everyone vaccinated for whooping cough managed to DOUBLE the cases of whooping cough in Australia within only one year.

  21. I feel as though the Baboon study has been misinterpreted. The study in no way concluded that those who had been vaccinated were therefore contagious. It in fact tested for how long a vaccinated baboon would be an asymptomatic carrier if infected with the whooping cough bacteria after vaccination. Important to note the vaccination itself doesn’t make a person a carrier and no study concludes this. Please refer back to the original study and correct your misleading article. I believe Tod Merkel’s comment is being widely used out of context.

    1. I believe once vaccinated it can help the individual with symptoms, BUT it has still not addressed the issue with transmission, which has been an issue since the whole cell vaccine. So if a vaccinated individual becomes infected with WC, they can then pass it on, usually with minimal symptoms of their own (may not be aware they have it). If you look at government data in Australia, the number of cases has skyrocketed despite having the highest rate of vaccination than ever.

  22. Hi Kelly.
    Well done on writing on such a contentious issue in such a well-balanced manner.
    I’d just like to suggest that you proofread your writing before posting so that the odd grammatical error does not deter from the overall message.
    I don’t wish this response to be posted, I really believe you are doing a fantastic job and simply hope that your writing can be as effective as possible.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. It was proofread initially, but I have made a few edits here and there. Are there any specifically that are bothering you? The reason I ask is I get lots of complaints from people who don’t realise BellyBelly is based in Australia (UK english) and not the US (US english). But sometimes things do slip through, especially the longer, detailed articles!

  23. They actually traced that outbreak to a change in the vaccine. Not sure why you think the whooping cough vaccine doesn’t shed. Here, check out this research and PLEASE correct your article with ACCURATE information.



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