Whooping Cough: Investing Medical Advertising $$$ in TV Commercials
Pertussis is the medical term for whooping cough. The DTaP vaccine (Diphtheria, Tetanus and acellular Pertussis) is the vaccine recommended by pediatricians for children starting at 2 months of age. It’s interesting with all the childhood vaccines to choose from, whooping cough is getting the most TV commercial air time.
The following information comes from a paper written by Dr. Suzanne Humphries, M.D. It provides a good example how scientific material can be presented in a manner that creates conclusions that are misleading and falsely perceived by the public. These types of stories must be shared with the public, not with the purpose of discrediting a health care profession, but rather to provide important information to the public so they can make well informed decisions for their own welfare and the welfare of their families.
The Medical Explanation For The Benefits Of The Pertussis Vaccine: by Dr. Paul Offit, M.D. (an American pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology.)
“Whooping cough (pertussis) is a devastating infection. Before a vaccine was first used in the United States in the 1940s, about three hundred thousand cases of whooping cough caused seven thousand deaths every year, almost all in young children. Now, because of the pertussis vaccine, fewer than thirty children die every year from the disease.”
Another study on whooping cough and the whooping cough vaccine was published in 1988 in the journal “Pediatrics.”
“In the United States, pertussis has been successfully controlled by routine mass immunization of infants and children. In the pre-vaccine era, there were 115,000 to 270,000 cases of pertussis and 5,000 to 10,000 deaths due to the disease each year. During the last 10 years, there have been 1,200 to 4,000 cases and five to ten deaths per year.” (The full reference for this is: James D. Cherry, MD MSc; Philip A. Brunell, MD; Gerald S. Golden, MD; and David T. Karzon, MD, “Report on the Task Force on Pertussis and Pertussis Immunization—1988,” Pediatrics, June 1988, vol. 81, no. 6, Part 2, p. 939.)
These explanations sound convincing and prove that the mortality rate from pertussis has dramatically been reduced since the 1940’s. The wording makes us assume there is a direct causal effect between the vaccine and the current mortality rate. Does the science and statistics support this conclusion?
Dr. Humphries states the following:
When we look at the actual data, we see that although many people did die from whooping cough in the early part of the 1900s, by the time the vaccine had been introduced the death rate in the United States had declined by more than 90 percent. Using the source that was referenced to make the statement in the Pediatrics paper, we see that the decline in deaths from the peak was approximately 92 percent before the introduction of the DTP vaccine.
Notice, however, that the medical explanation never mentioned that 92% of the mortalities had already been eliminated before the implementation of the vaccine. They simply mentioned the mortality rates prior to 1940 and then the rates today. This is a classic example how facts are revealed intentionally to create a perception of truth rather than an actual depiction of truth.
What contributed to the reduction in cases and fatalities leading up to the introduction of the vaccine? Many researchers have concluded that improved hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, labor laws, electricity, chlorination, refrigeration, pasteurization, and many other facets placed children and adults at lower risks for ALL contagious diseases.
“It is dangerous to let the public behind the scenes. They are easily disillusioned and then they are angry with you, for it was the illusion they loved.”
-W. Somerset Maugham-
Is it necessary to promote a fallacy by using TV advertising dollars to keep this illusion alive? We deserve honest explanations by the institutions we rely on for information regarding our health and welfare. It is unfair to our medical doctors to force them to follow mandatory vaccination schedules they may disagree with. Their employment is potentially on the line if their vaccine quotas are not met. Are you surprised that doctors are pressured by institutions that employ them in this manner? I can certainly understand why medical decision making by pediatricians may be biased. Who wants to be fired from their job?
I don’t care whether you love or hate vaccines. I care that truthful information is available to the public and that doctors share the various sources of research with their patients so they can choose from ALL options. To tell the world that vaccines are the ONLY OPTION to avoid disease reduces the credibility and integrity of the health care institutions and doctors behind this claim. Too much controversy over this topic within the medical profession itself remains to be this dogmatic.
Were you aware that 90%+ of the whooping cough fatalities had resolved naturally prior to the introduction of the pertussis vaccine?
Can you see why continued dialogue among all doctors regarding vaccines is imperative to safeguard the public from false claims and potential abuse by the health care system?