Science studies show the whooping cough vaccine does not protect against whooping cough, and is contributing to the spread of this disease.
About whooping cough
Whooping cough is traditionally caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis – new varieties are emerging, including Bordetella parapertussis (note the ‘para’). The current vaccine only protects agianst Bordetella pertussis.
The vaccine is called aP, meaning acellular pertussis, and is made from 3 components taken from pertussis bacterial cells, not whole cells (acellular means ‘without cells’). The 3 components are: pertussis toxin (Ptx), pertactin (Prn), and filamentous hemagglutinin (Fha). Some aP vaccines contain more components, such as Fim2 and Fim3.
Overview of the vaccine science
Scientists around the world have been contributing to an understanding of why whooping cough incidence has been increasing in areas with high vaccination rates. Findings include:
- The vaccine is contributing to the spread of infection, by suppressing symptoms but not transmission in adults and children. See 1) Spreading infection
- The vaccine does not work against pertussis strains in circulation, and the vaccine is breeding the new resistant strains. See 2) New strains
- The vaccine does not work against parapertussis, and makes parapertussis more dangerous in the vaccinated than it is in the unvaccinated. See 3) Parapertussis
- Vaccine effectiveness and duration of protection has reduced. See 4) Efficacy and duration.
- The vaccine suppresses the immune response to adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT), a dangerous toxin pertussis bacteria produce in the lungs, due to the phenomenon of original antigenic sin. See 5) Vaccine suppresses immune reation to ACT
- Cocooning, the practice of vaccinating a new baby’s close contacts, has been shown to be ineffective in preventing pertussis infection. See 6) Cocooning.
1) Spreading infection
- “This research suggests that although individuals immunized with an acellular pertussis vaccine may be protected from disease, they may still become infected with the bacteria without always getting sick and are able to spread infection to others, including young infants who are susceptible to pertussis disease.”
and here is the research paper:
Acellular pertussis vaccines protect against disease but fail to prevent infection and transmission in a nonhuman primate model
- “In this study, we show nonhuman primates vaccinated with aP were protected from severe symptoms but not infection and readily transmitted Bordetella pertussis to contacts.”
Another study, from Santa Fe Institute
Whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they’re infectious?
- “The dramatic resurgence of whooping cough is due, in large part, to vaccinated people who are infectious but who do not display the symptoms, suggests a new study.”
- “Althouse and Scarpino used whopping cough case counts from the CDC, genomic data on the pertussis bacteria, and 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.”
- “Their results also suggest that a practice called COCOONING, where mothers, fathers, and siblings are vaccinated to protect newborns, isn’t effective. ‘It just doesn’t work, because even if you get the acellular vaccine you can still become infected and can still transmit. So that baby is not protected,’ Althouse says.”
here is the source paper:
Asymptomatic transmission and the resurgence of Bordetella pertussis
Credit: Courtesy of B. Althouse and S. Scarpino
Here are 2 more articles about the above research:
B. pertussis resurgence may be due to asymptomatic, vaccinated carriers
Study: Is the whooping cough resurgence due to vaccinated people not knowing they’re infectious?
2) New strains
From the CDC:
Resurgence of Pertussis. (on page 6)
- “However, 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.”
Universlty of NSW
Evolution of whooping cough bacterium could reduce vaccine effectiveness
- “The bacterium that causes whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis, has changed – most likely in response to the vaccine used to prevent the disease – with a possible reduced effectiveness of the vaccine as a result, a new study shows.”
- “About 80 per cent of the 2012 whooping cough cases in Australia studied by the team were caused by pertactin-free strains.”
and the source paper:
Rapid Increase in Pertactin-deficient Bordetella pertussis Isolates, Australia
- “In conclusion, the prolonged epidemic in Australia that began in 2008 was predominantly caused by SPs from cluster I carrying prn2 and ptxP3, which have been circulating in this country since at least 2000. There may be other unknown factors contributing to the increase of cluster I strains, but they appear to have a selective advantage over strains carrying non-prn2 and non-ptxP3 alleles under the pressure of ACV [acellular vaccine] vaccination.”
- “The use of acellular vaccines (ACV) has been associated with the recent resurgence of pertussis in developed countries including Australia despite high vaccination coverage where B. pertussis strains that do not express pertactin (Prn), a key antigenic component of the ACV, have emerged and become prevalent…Our findings of greater ability of Prn negative strains to colonise ACV-immunised mice are consistent with reports of selective advantage for these strains in ACV-immunised humans.”
- “Typing of genes encoding ACV [acellular vaccine] antigens showed that use of ACV may have driven antigenic changes of 2 MTs now predominant in Australia.”
- “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.”
Article about the above research
Acellular pertussis vaccination enhances B. parapertussis colonization
4) Efficacy and duration.
Australian study about whooping cough in the USA:
A Change in Vaccine Efficacy and Duration of Protection Explains Recent Rises in Pertussis Incidence in the United States
- “The best-fitting model is one in which the vaccine efficacy and duration of protection of the acellular pertussis vaccine is lower than that of the whole-cell vaccine.”
Article on ABC Science about the above research findings:
Whooping cough increase related to current vaccine
- “The move to an artificially created vaccine for whooping cough is behind an increase in cases of the deadly disease in the US, a new study suggests.”
From Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, Oakland – how long does vaccine protection last?
Waning Tdap Effectiveness in Adolescents
- “Routine Tdap vaccination did not prevent pertussis outbreaks in adolescents. Among adolescents previously vaccinated only with DTaP, Tdap provided moderate protection during the first year and then waned rapidly so that little protection remained 2-3 years after vaccination.”
5) Vaccine suppresses immune reation to ACT
The following paper (2010) compares vaccinated and unvaccinated children, all with whooping cough, for their antibody response to various pertussis components. An earlier study by the group (2004) examined response to ACT, a dangerous toxin produced in the lungs by pertussis bacteria, which scientists have not at this stage found a way of incorporating into the aP vaccine.
Antibody Response Patterns to Bordetella pertussis Antigens in Vaccinated (Primed) and Unvaccinated (Unprimed) Young Children with Pertussis
- “In a previous study, it was observed that children who were diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine failures had a minimal antibody response to the nonvaccine antigen adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT), whereas unvaccinated children had a vigorous response to this antigen. Specifically, the convalescent-phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) antibody geometric mean value (GMV) in response to ACT in 20 unvaccinated children with pertussis was 872 ELISA units (EU)/ml, whereas the convalescent-phase GMV in 10 DTaP vaccine failures was only 49 EU/ml.” [This is a huge difference]
- “A second hypothesis, which we favor, is that the findings can be explained by LINKED EPITOPE SUPPRESSION caused by preferential responses of memory B cells following secondary exposure to vaccine components.”
- “The original exposure essentially “locks in” the immune response to certain epitopes and inhibits the response to linked epitopes even following subsequent exposures.”
[Note – ‘linked epitope suppression’ is the same thing as ‘original antigenic sin’]
Here is the earlier paper by the group (2004).
Determination of Serum Antibody to Bordetella pertussis Adenylate Cyclase Toxin in Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children and in Children and Adults with Pertussis
- “Of particular interest is the lack of a significant ACT antibody response in children for whom the DTP or DTaP vaccines failed. This induced tolerance is intriguing and may be due to the phenomenon called “original antigenic sin” . In this phenomenon, a child responds at initial exposure to all presented epitopes of the infecting agent or vaccine. With repeated exposure when older, the child responds preferentially to those epitopes shared with the original infecting agent or vaccine and can be expected to have responses to new epitopes of the infecting agent that are less marked than normal. Because both vaccines contained multiple antigens (i.e., PT, FHA, PRN, and fimbriae), the patients who had been vaccinated responded to the antigens that they had been primed with and did not respond to the new antigen (i.e., ACT) associated with infection.”
6) Cocooning (vaccinating a new baby’s close contacts)
- In our setting, vaccinating parents with dTpa during the four weeks following delivery did not reduce pertussis diagnoses in infants.
Australian research shows the source of Pertussis infection is most commonly fully vaccinated siblings.
Finding the ‘who’ in whooping cough: vaccinated siblings are important pertussis sources in infants 6 months of age and under
- “Fully vaccinated siblings aged 2 and 3 years were the most important infant pertussis sources in the peak epidemic period of this study, suggesting that immunity may wane in this age group before the vaccine booster at 4 years. Even if it were possible to fully cocoon infants through a combination of parental vaccination and ensuring siblings were fully vaccinated, the possibility of transmission via breakthrough disease in siblings would persist.”
Here in Australia, unvaccinated children are blamed for young infants becoming seriously ill or dying from pertussis. However, when we had much lower vaccination rates for pertussis, the number of reported cases was also much lower.
In 1991, around 71% of Australian children were fully vaccinated and there were only 347 cases of Whooping Cough, while in 2011 with over 90% of children vaccinated, we had 38,758 cases. How can the unvaccinated be blamed for this disease spreading?
See the evidence here:
Find number of cases in 1991 and 2011 here:
Notifications of a selected disease by State and Territory and year
Find the percentage vaccinated for DTP in 1991 here:
Vaccination Coverage in Australian Children – ABS Statistics and the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR), 2001
See: 4. RESULTS – VACCINATION COVERAGE STATISTICS
Find the percentage vaccinated for DTaP in 2011 here
Immunisation coverage annual report, 2011
See: Fig 1 and Tables 2, 3 & 4
Cocooning (i.e. ensuring all people in contact with a baby have had a booster aP shot):
- “Parents across Australia will no longer receive free whooping cough vaccinations because it is not effective in protecting newborns from the potentially deadly illness, a parliamentary committee has heard.”
- “”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.”
[Note 1 – This abrupt and decisive change in policy might quite possibly indicate that the vaccine had been found to be not just ineffective in preventing infection or transmission but found to INCREASE THE RISK OF TRANSMISSION to newborn infants, but of course he could not say that.
Note 2 – This 2012 decision has now been superseded, has Victoria’s Labor health minister Jill Hennessy looked at the science?]
Food for thought
This article questions a paper that recommends P vaccination of pregnant women:
Vaccinating pregnant women “halves the risk of pertussis in infants’ first four months” ~ A critique by Dr Suzanne Humphries
- “But this plan, sometimes referred to as “COCOONING” has failed and will never work, no matter how many boosters are given to household contacts. That is because booster “immunity” is short-lived, and because of the issue of original antigenic sin [also called linked epitope suppression] which makes the vaccinated more susceptible to infection and longer asymptomatic carriage than the naturally immune.”
- “Since a vaccine creates different immunologic response pathways than natural immunity, the body will act according to how it was programmed by the vaccine.”
- “In natural immunity the body reacts very strongly to ACT, but because of original antigenic sin, and the absence of ACT in the vaccine, the vaccinated are not programmed to respond at all to it. ” [ACT is a dangerous toxin produced in the lungs by pertussis bacteria.]
- “When a vaccinated person contacts pertussis again, the bacteria can get a good hold, because there is little to stop it from doing so. The immune system will not respond to ACT in the future, because the program has been set by the first contact which was the needle, not the bacteria.”
- “It is true that maternal protection is important, both via transplacental and breast milk immunity. This type of immunity protects infants for up to two years, and certainly for the most vulnerable first six months of life, but not in the post vaccine era because the short lived pseudo immunity of vaccines destroyed the true herd immunity that once protected newborn infants.”
To sum up
This article by investigative journalist Jeremy R Hammond does a good job of summing up the issues raised in the above science papers:
The Ugly Untold Truth About the Pertussis Vaccine
- “Of course, one would think that such findings might call into question public vaccine policy. But an institutional myopia exists such that questioning public policy is out of the question.”
* * *
So why did they mess with it? It was going so well…
Graph is from Fooling Ourselves: on the fundamental value of vaccines by Greg Beattie
So was this…
England and Wales whooping cough mortality rate, 1838 to 1978.
(Record of mortality in England and Wales for 95 years as provided by the Office of National Statistics, published 1997; Report to The Honourable Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bart, MP, Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, June 30, 1860, pp. a4, 205; Essay on Vaccination by Charles T. Pearce, MD, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England; Parliamentary Papers, the 62nd Annual Return of the Registrar General 1899 (1891–1898))
Many well-meaning doctors and some ethical elements of government and the mainstream media genuinely believe they must not publicly discuss problems with vaccines because people might lose faith in vaccines and stop vaccinating generally. They believe this could lead to deadly diseases coming back – this concern is not supported by the evidence, see Let the EVIDENCE speak: Did Vaccines Save Us?