NVIC Vaccine News

Pertussis Microbe Outsmarts the Vaccines As Experts Argue About Why

By Barbara Loe Fisher
Published March 27, 2016 in Infectious Diseases & Vaccines


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For the past decade, Americans have been subjected to dire warnings that B. pertussis whooping cough cases are on the rise and it is the fault of parents who don’t vaccinate their children. 1 2 3 That myth actually goes back to the early 1980’s, 4 when parents of DPT vaccine injured children in the U.S. were asking for a safer pertussis vaccine while, at the same time, discovering that whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT shots did not prevent infection 5 and vaccine immunity lasted for only two to five years. 6 7

The same old excuse - “it’s the parent’s fault” - is being invoked again in the 21st century by forced vaccination proponents who want to eliminate vaccine exemptions, 8 9 10 11 just as another generation of parents are discovering that acellular pertussis vaccine in DTaP shots also does not prevent infection 12 13 14 and vaccine immunity is waning, lasting at best for two to five years. 15 16 17

Time to Dispel Myths and Lies About Pertussis and Pertussis Vaccines

Pertussis bacteria, CDC

What’s old is new again. And it is time to dispel the myths and lies being told about pertussis and pertussis vaccines.

In brief:

  • FACT: Both the reactive whole cell DPT vaccine licensed 1949 and the less toxic acellular DTaP vaccine licensed in 1996 do not prevent infection or transmission, and only provide two to five years of temporary immunity at best;
  • FACT : Millions of vaccinated children and adults are silently infected with pertussis in the U.S. every year and show few or no symptoms but spread whooping cough to vaccinated and unvaccinated children - without doctors identifying or reporting cases to the government;
  • FACT : In response to mass pertussis vaccination campaigns beginning in the 1950s, the B. pertussis microbe evolved to evade both whole cell and acellular pertussis vaccines, creating new strains producing more toxin to suppress immune function and cause more serious disease.

Now, here is the rest of the story in more detail:

High Child Pertussis Vaccination Rates in U.S. for 35 Years

Fully vaccinated individuals spreading Pertussis?

Child pertussis vaccination rates in the U.S. have remained very, very high for the past 35 years. 18 Consistently, more than 94 percent of kindergarten children have had four to five pertussis-containing shots either in whole cell DPT or acellular DTaP vaccines. 19 There is a 94 percent pertussis vaccination rate for children under 35 months old20 and, today, 88 percent of teenagers attending high school have gotten a sixth pertussis booster shot. 21

That’s a lot of pertussis vaccination going on in America for a long time among children of all ages, many of whom are now adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s. So why are public health officials reporting that large numbers of fully vaccinated pre-schoolers in Florida, 22 and fully vaccinated teenagers in California, 23 and fully vaccinated sisters and brothers of newborn infants are spreading pertussis whooping cough - 24 even though most have gotten every pertussis shot recommended by the CDC?

Before we examine why the experts are fighting with each other about the answer to that question, let’s do a quick review of the history of pertussis and pertussis vaccine.

DPT Licensed in 1949 and DTaP in 1996 for U.S. Babies

B. pertussis whooping cough has been around since at least the 16th century, and it can be especially serious for babies who cannot breathe when the sticky mucous produced by the gram negative bacteria clogs their tiny airways. 25 26 The first crude whole cell pertussis vaccine was licensed in 1914, 27 but was not given widely to children until after 1949, when it was combined with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines into the DPT shot 28 and used until 1996, when a less reactive DTaP vaccine was licensed in the U.S. 29

By 2014, public health officials reported that 86 percent of the world’s children had gotten at least three pertussis shots, 30 but estimate there are still about 16 million pertussis cases and 195,000 pertussis-related deaths every year globally. 31

75% Drop in Pertussis Deaths Before DPT Licensed in 1949

Death from pertussis infections dropped prior to introduction of first pertussis vaccine

But what about deaths in the U.S. from pertussis whooping cough?

In our country, deaths from pertussis infections dropped by more than 75% between 1922 and 1948, the year before the DPT vaccine was licensed. In 1948, the mortality rate was less than 1 pertussis death per 100,000 persons and would never be higher than that again. 32 33 In 2013, there were about 29,000 reported pertussis cases and 13 pertussis-related deaths in America, with nine of those deaths in infants under age one. 34

However, reported numbers of pertussis cases do not match the total number of actual cases of pertussis that are happening in America. Most pertussis cases, like most vaccine reactions, are not being diagnosed or reported by doctors to the government. 35 Public health officials admit they still don’t have reliable lab tests to measure pertussis immunity and can’t agree about how to diagnose pertussis when infected people, especially vaccinated people, show up in doctor’s offices with mild symptoms.36 37 38

Millions of U.S. Pertussis Cases in Vaccinated Persons Not Identified or Reported

But what public health officials have known for a long time - and do not publicly talk about – is that millions of vaccinated children and adults living in the U.S. get pertussis whooping cough and are never identified. 39 40 41 42 That’s right: there are millions of pertussis infections going on in America among vaccinated people but doctors are not diagnosing or reporting them.

In fact, whether you or your child have been vaccinated or not, you can get a silent asymptomatic pertussis infection and transmit it to someone else without even knowing it. 43 44 45 That child or adult sitting next to you in the bus, classroom, movie theater or doctor’s office, who has a little cough or no cough at all, could be infected with B. pertussis whooping cough, even though he or she has gotten every federally recommended dose of pertussis vaccine.

No Herd Immunity: Vaccines Do Not Block Infection, Carriage or Transmission

Tip of the iceberg

When there are a lot of people with silent asymptomatic pertussis infections, it is impossible to know who is a carrier and who is not, which means that reported cases of pertussis are just the tip of a very big iceberg. It also means that articles blaming whooping cough cases on unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children are nothing more than wishful thinking and scapegoating. 46

Bottom Line: Both natural and vaccine acquired immunity is temporary 47 and while vaccination may prevent clinical symptoms, it does not block infection, carriage or transmission. If vaccinated people can get silently infected and transmit infection without showing any symptoms – even after getting four to six pertussis shots - then pertussis vaccine acquired “herd immunity” is an illusion and always has been.

So the big question is: Why has more than a half-century of pertussis vaccination failed to produce true herd immunity like public health officials insist it theoretically can if only more and more pertussis shots are given to more people more of the time? 48 49

Extremely Reactive DPT and Less Reactive DTaP both Have Low Efficacy

The answer is simple and the emerging scientific evidence is compelling: the B. pertussis microbe has evolved over the past 65 years to evade whole cell and acellular pertussis vaccines, which drug companies have marketed and medical doctors have aggressively promoted in a crusade to kill a species of bacteria they still know very little about. 50 51 A review of the medical literature reveals that the

Doctors in a group

experts are unhappy with how much they still don’t know about the B. pertussis microbe 52 and are arguing with each other about if, when, how and why pertussis vaccines have consistently failed to do the job of achieving herd immunity to prevent B. pertussis whooping cough from circulating in highly vaccinated populations around the world.53 54 55

The inconvenient set of scientific facts they have to work with are these:

  • FACT: The efficacy of whole cell pertussis vaccine in the DPT shot was measured to be between 30 and 85 percent, depending upon the type of DPT and vaccine manufacturer, 56 57 58 59 60 and protection lasted two to five years. 61
  • FACT: After a low of about 1,000 cases of pertussis were reported in the U.S in 1976, 62 it was obvious all through the1980s and 90’s that whole cell pertussis vaccine in DPT shots was not preventing infection or transmission.63 64 65 66 67 Pertussis cases increased in highly vaccinated populations in cycles of three to five years - just like before DPT vaccine was widely used in the 1950s. 68 69 70 71 72
  • FACT: The whole cell DPT vaccine used until the late 1990’s in the U.S. was an extremely reactive vaccine. DPT vaccine reactions like fever, pain, and irritability were experienced by between 50 and 85 percent of children and seizures and collapse/shock reactions followed one in 875 DPT shots. 73 74 Brain inflammation was reported following 1 in 110,000 DPT shots with permanent brain damage after 1 in 310,000 DPT shots. 75 76 Finally, in 1996, the marginally effective and extremely reactive whole cell DPT vaccine was replaced with a far less reactive but marginally effective acellular DTaP vaccine. 77 Similar to whole cell pertussis vaccines, acellular pertussis vaccine efficacy in clinical trials was measured to be between 40 and 89 percent, depending upon the DTaP vaccine manufacturer. 78 79 80
  • FACT: Acellular pertussis vaccines do not prevent infection, 81 82 just like whole cell pertussis vaccines do not prevent infection. In the 21st century, pertussis outbreaks and cyclical increases have continued,83 84 85 – even after a pertussis booster shot was added to the schedule for all adolescents and adults in 2006. 86 87 By 2010, the Tdap pertussis booster shot was found to be only about 66 percent effective in providing temporary immunity for teenagers and adults. 88

Pertussis Microbe Evolved to Evade Both DPT and DTaP Vaccines

Boy getting vaccinated

Eighteen years ago, in 1998, molecular biologists and other basic science researchers began warning that the B. pertussis microbe started to evolve to evade whole cell pertussis vaccine after DPT shots were given on a mass basis to children in the 1950’s.89 90 91 92 For the past two decades, these bench scientists have been publishing hard evidence that over the past 65 years, B. pertussis bacteria have efficiently adapted to both whole cell and acellular pertussis vaccines. 93 94 95

New Pertussis Strains with More Toxin Causing More Serious Disease

In a fight to survive, the B. pertussis microbe has created new strains that produce more pertussis toxin to suppress the human immune system and cause more serious disease. Today, the pertussis strains included in the vaccine no longer match the pertussis strains causing whooping cough disease.96 97 98 99 100

Bottom line: There is compelling scientific evidence that B. pertussis bacteria have evolved to survive vaccine pressure. Now, there are more virulent pertussis strains that are more efficiently transmitted by vaccinated children and adults with waning immunity.

As one research scientist commented in 2009, “An important question is whether other childhood vaccines also select for pathogens that are more efficiently transmitted by primed hosts, resulting in increased virulence.” 101

War on B. Pertussis Bacteria & Vaccine Policies Not Driven By Hard Science

Pregnant woman getting vaccinated

The crusade by public health officials to kill the B. pertussis microbe by adding more and more doses of ineffective vaccines to the child and adult schedule – now even invading the once sacred place of the womb and insisting all pregnant women be vaccinated 102 103 - is a cautionary tale. As we witness a bacterial species efficiently adapting in an effort to survive a war that has been declared on it, what has become painfully clear is that the history of mass vaccination has not been driven by hard science transparently shared with the people. 104 105 It has been driven by the politics of a public health profession working a lucrative government-industry public private partnership to protect failed vaccine policies, while ignoring the hard science. 106 107

We, the people, are not going to pretend the science doesn’t exist. It is up to each one of us to inform public health officials and legislators that it is their responsibility to show us the science and give us a choice when it comes to vaccines, especially when no vaccine manufacturer, no public health official and no doctor is liable in a civil court of law when vaccine reactions and failures lead to injury and death. 108

Learn more on NVIC.org. Sign up for the free NVIC Advocacy Portal and become active in your state to protect vaccine exemptions from being eliminated by the Pharma, Medical Trade and Public Health industries.

It’s your health. Your family. Your choice.


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11 Responses to "Pertussis Microbe Outsmarts the Vaccines As Experts Argue About Why"
Commenter Name
Posted: 3/29/2016 10:51:37 AM
Barbara and friends at NVIC: Thank YOU for all you do to protect us, our children, our grandchildren and our rights. The truth about vaccines is vital for anyone wanting to live a truly healthy life.
Commenter Name
Posted: 3/29/2016 4:06:56 PM
I appreciate your commitment to educating us about the propaganda surrounding vaccines. I wish I could reconcile one thing in my mind. It seems to me that all my "bra-burning" radical friend from the 60's/70's are now firmly committed to forcing their will on those who disagree. All for the greater good. This apples not only to vaccines, but other ideas/actions/thongs as well. I'm pretty fed up with the holier than thou pontificating.
Commenter Name
Posted: 3/29/2016 7:23:59 PM
Thank you for being brave and revealing the hard to hear truth about vaccine dangers, failures and the lies parents are being fed. I've always felt that government should stay out of the way when it comes to how we raise our kids, and you show definitive reasons to doubt that they know what they are talking about. Parents are a child/teenagers only trustworthy advocate for their best interests. Even doctors and drugs cannot cure most diseases, and can cause a host of other problems, including death.
Commenter Name
Posted: 3/29/2016 7:50:31 PM
In 1991, our 3 yr old and I became sick. Many of our friends did not vaccinate. We thought it was bronchitis and the doctor gave us Biaxin. Only in the later stages of the illness did we develop the typical "whooping" cough that hung on so long. Our child was 3 and never vaccinated for it. I had had 4 doses of vaccine over the years including boosters, and she recovered much quicker than I did. We were never cultured, but the doctor felt sure from the sound of the cough that was what we had contracted, and being well nourished and otherwise healthy, we came through it fine.
Commenter Name
Posted: 3/29/2016 9:22:04 PM
And to make matters worse, the DTaP vaccine promotes multiple sclerosis. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0171298515301078 The potential role of subclinical Bordetella Pertussis colonization in the etiology of multiple sclerosis And ... The reasons why peanut allergy has become more common might include (1) changes in vaccines, particularly the change from cellular to acellular pertussis; http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(15)00584-9/fulltext
Commenter Name
Posted: 3/30/2016 5:33:35 AM
Is there anything more precious than our families' Divinely provided health and functioning? Is there any mission more worthwhile than preventing death and debilitation by keeping vile patented drugs (including VACCINES) out of our bodies? PLEASE!!! - whoever is reading this - 1)forward BLF's piece to all friends and families whether they are PRO or CON which is truly ridiculous because those that are supposedly "pro-vaccine" are clearly full of fear and against being educated and informed and empowered to make intelligent decisions based on obvious markers of our generation's terrible health, vitality, and longevity. 2) Make some fresh popcorn, cut up some veggies, make a dip and invite some neighbors, friends, and/or family to watch a Suzanne Humphries, Sherry Tenpenny, Andrew Wakefield, Russel Blaylock vaccine lectures or any of the available documentaries by Gary Null, etc. 3)Learn and teach your family about the infinitely wondrous immune system - online resources are abundant - and how to boost their immunity. 4)Suzanne Humphries and Sherry Tenpenny have lectures about the lies promoted that made the masses "believe" in vaccines. 5)Look up youtubes on drug company whistleblowers who share that families of drug company executives and workers do not get any vaccines. Congress was surveyed about vaccines - 3/4 of them admitted that they reject vaccines for their families. The Obamas are pretty clever - I heard from a very reliable source that they ALSO reject vaccines for their "precious" children. Are they "more" precious than YOUR children??? 6)Does anyone know how we can we get a study going that will do a full battery of psychological, intellectual, and immunological (microbiome) testing on a huge cohort of nonvaccinated vs vaccinated people???? And publish a journal/magazine of some sort on all the findings? Included in that should be samples of writing from both groups. (Don't be surprised to find underlying themes of subtle long-lived vaccine induced trauma in many of the vaccinated people). Vaccine "science" is evil, draconian, and denies the infinite intelligence of the body and the G-d given world of nutrients, microflora, and healing herbs, etc. Our precious bodies can stay vibrantly and robustly healthy and energetic with intelligently prepared natural foods! With G-d's loving help - TOGETHER - we CAN make it GO AWAY!
Commenter Name
Focus for Health Foundation
Posted: 3/31/2016 3:46:58 PM
Check out this discussion we had with the CDC about the pertussis vaccine in the comments section of this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkafS5pwMuo
Commenter Name
Posted: 4/4/2016 3:38:29 AM
There are some theories out there suggesting that the microcephaly infants may have been the result of Brazil mandating the DPT vaccines to all pregnant women. Is there evidence to support this?
Commenter Name
Posted: 4/5/2016 1:09:11 AM
I thought that catching pertussis would bring about long-term immunity but this article says otherwise. Could you shed some light on that? Editors Note: Once You Have Had Pertussis Can You Get It Again? Many people gain permanent immunity after experiencing B. pertussis whooping cough disease. However, it is possible to have more than one bout with whooping cough in life, although subsequent cases are generally milder or may even be experienced without many symptoms. All vaccines only give temporary immunity, which is why booster doses are often given. Pertussis vaccine (DPT, DTaP, TdaP) does not give long lasting, permanent immunity. That is why, even after children get 3 to 6 doses of pertussis vaccine, they can still get B. pertussis whooping cough as children, teenagers or adults. See more here: http://www.nvic.org/Vaccines-and-Diseases/Whooping-Cough.aspx
Commenter Name
angela coral eisenhauer
Posted: 5/18/2016 3:18:00 AM
Rubbish, I tested all the kids in 2010, beginning of the non stop ever increasing epidemic of whooping cough in Australia. DTP worked, and is still working in those who had it. DTap does not work, it lasts 3 years average after last jab, so the kids who got Dtap from 1995 in Australia, by 2010, first 100% failure rate in them all, they got whooping cough. ALL AGED 6-12, ALL VACCINE FAILURES OF DTAP. No one over 12 caught it. So in reality in 2012, the rate was at 1 in 25 kids, aged 6-12 all fully vaccinted, had whooping cough that year. They were only the ONES WITH SYMPTOMS, who get the real illness, real immunity, and never spread it again. MEANWHILE, AS THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT TESTING SHOWED IN 2010, THE DTAP KIDS, WHO HAD NO SYMPTOMS, WERE ALL CARRIERS, WITH PERTUSSIS BACTERIA IN THEIR THROATS. All that was needed was to stop vaccinating with DTap in 2010, all would be back to the normal 400 cases australia wide yearly. Instead? They jab more, and more, more carriers, more baby infections from vaccinated siblings............. now, for gods sake, they vaccinating pregnant women, aka babies 20 weeks gestation, with a vaccine that kills them if given at birth? wonder why the babies are all aborting after the jab (dying) or why they are born brain damaged called microcephaly? CDC murderers, just to attempt to cover the fact the DTap vaccine is so bloody useless, and causing more whooping cough, than HAS EVER BEEN KNOWN IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.
Commenter Name
Posted: 6/17/2016 12:28:54 AM
We raised seven children without vaccines. If needed for a study I will be happy to give their information. It took some standing up to well-intentioned healthcare workers and school officials from time to time, but we managed to send them all through school without shots. It was pretty simple to get waivers to the schools. I am an LVN in Texas and because of Senate Bill 7 I am now being required to take a Tdap shot (pertussis...the only one of the childhood diseases I had low antibodies for) in exchange for my continued employment. I have worked at this place for 4 years and do not want to leave my job. I feel so violated. It's either take the shot or hit the pavement looking for work. I will be 60 next year too! I feel so alone in this. Editors Hote: You are not alone, we will be in touch JD. Your health. Your family. Your choice.

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