Whooping Cough Vaccine Does Not Work – Says US FDA’s Research

CHS reports here on new research from the US Federal Drug Administration which the researchers claim confirms their hypothesis that whooping cough vaccine does not provide herd immunity and that the disease continues to be easily transmitted and flourishes.  CHS has previously reported that whooping cough [pertussis] vaccine does not work:

Whooping Cough Vaccine – Doesn’t Work – GSK Says “We Never Bothered to Check”

Major Whooping Cough Epidemics – Vaccine Not Working

Vaccine Programmes Failing Worldwide – Homer Simpson and The World of Vaccines

A newly published paper of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America makes the claim that the vaccine fails to prevent individuals getting the bacterial infection and fails also to prevent the disease being transmitted to other individuals:  Acellular pertussis vaccines protect against disease but fail to prevent infection and transmission in a nonhuman primate model  doi: 10.1073/pnas.1314688110 PNAS November 25, 2013.

The authors suggest the previous “whole cell” vaccine did work and that the acellular vaccine does not.  However, the “whole cell” vaccine caused large numbers of serious adverse reactions in children and had to be abandoned.

What is notable about this is no claim is being made that the failure to achieve herd immunity and prevent the circulation of the disease is because of under-vaccination – as is claimed in the UK with measles cases in South Wales this year.  Here it is being admitted that use of a vaccine does not create herd immunity.  

Despite these findings what is particularly bizarre is that instead of the authors suggesting research is needed into developing effective treatments for whooping cough, a basic childhood disease, and despite this new paper demonstrating 40 years of failure of vaccines in addressing whooping cough, they say we need improved vaccines.  Well, the US FDA and the drug industry have had 40 years to prove themselves and this paper, if it can be believed, suggests they have failed.  It is clearly time for a new improved and safer approach and especially one which does not kill or injure some children as vaccines do. 

The paper is by authors from the Division of Bacterial, Parasitic and Allergenic Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration [“FDA”], Bethesda, MD, 20892.  However, it also states “Edited by Rino Rappuoli, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Srl, Siena, Italy, and approved October 22, 2013 (received for review August 5, 2013)”.  This illustrates the close relationship the US drug safety regulator, the FDA, has with the drug industry when as the safety regulator responsible for approving [or supposedly not approving] drug industry products it should have an “arms length” relationship to help maintain its independence.

The abstract of the paper states:

Baboons vaccinated with aP were protected from severe pertussis-associated symptoms but not from colonization, did not clear the infection faster than naïve animals, and readily transmitted B. pertussis to unvaccinated contacts. Vaccination with wP induced a more rapid clearance compared with naïve and aP-vaccinated animals. By comparison, previously infected animals were not colonized upon secondary infection. Although all vaccinated and previously infected animals had robust serum antibody responses, we found key differences in T-cell immunity. Previously infected animals and wP-vaccinated animals possess strong B. pertussis-specific T helper 17 (Th17) memory and Th1 memory, whereas aP vaccination induced a Th1/Th2 response instead. The observation that aP, which induces an immune response mismatched to that induced by natural infection, fails to prevent colonization or transmission provides a plausible explanation for the resurgence of pertussis and suggests that optimal control of pertussis will require the development of improved vaccines.”

5 Responses

  1. Factually, publications dating back to the 1980s have established that even the whole-cell “pertussis”-containing vaccines do not provide lasting protection from whooping cough and, a 1985 publication (Bass JW, Stephenson SR. The return of pertussis. Pediatric Infect Dis J 1987 Feb; 6(2): 141-144.
    http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Citation/1987/02000/The_return_of_pertussis.1.aspx) predicted the failure of the current vaccination strategy and, in 1994, (Bass JW, Wittler RR. Return of epidemic pertussis in the United States. Pediatric Infect Dis J 1994;13(5): 343-344.1.
    http://journals.lww.com/pidj/Citation/1994/05000/Return_of_epidemic_pertussis_in_the_United_States.2.aspx ) confirmed that failure.

    Moreover, a 2012 vaccine apologist’s paper, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/5/968.long, has already admitted that the current “pertussis” vaccines are not truly effective [Cherry, JD. Commentary Why Do Pertussis Vaccines Fail? PEDIATRICS Vol. 129 No. 5 May 1, 2012 pp. 968 -970 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2594)].

    For this researcher’s perspective, please carefully read, http://dr-king.com/docs/120806_PGKDrftRevu_Anti_vaccineMovementCausesTheWorstWhoopingCoughEpidemicIn70Yrs_fnlr2b.pdf.

    Hopefully, as was specifically suggested in my review for “whooping cough”, we will abandon the use of the current DTwcP, DTaP, DT, Tdap, and TT vaccines and use alternate disease management and control strategies in the developed countries for these diseases, which, except for pertussis, are almost non-existent in children in the USA and much of the developed world.

  2. History shows us that vaccines did NOT eradicate the diseases that plagued humanity. That is a common misconception — in actual fact, it was better sanitation and hygiene in the cities that prevented the spread of diseases. These charts, from official sources, show us that vaccines (1) were not responsible, and are not necessary, for eliminating infectious diseases, (2) are not effective, and (3) are dangerous. http://genesgreenbook.com/content/proof-vaccines-didnt-save-us

  3. @ HealthFreedom Smallpox & polio both controlled or eradicated effectively by vaccination. That is not sound science. Both the sanitation movement AND vaccination played a huge role in reducing disease burden in the U.S., and in many places around the world. Saying that a medical intervention is bad because it is not 100% safe is not rational. Open heart & brain surgery are incredibly risky. Both from the risk of infection & general complications, but would you recommend that and individual that need ether reject them due to risk? Almost no medical intervention is without risk, you must look at the cost benefit of any action you undertake. It is easy to see that the uncontrolled diseases, like polio, far out stretch the risk of the vaccines we use today.

    [ED: Hi Daniel. You overlook a major point. With open heart and brain surgery it is a matter of a choice between a high risk of not having surgery and the risk of the surgery. With vaccines the vast majority are well individuals and healthy individual will not suffer major consequences especially from diseases like mumps, chickenpox, rubella. So the risk is of getting a prophylactic treatment [vaccine] to prevent a risk which is minimal or non-existent for the majority compared to risks of vaccinations which are 1) heavily under reported and 2) always denied and/or heavily downplayed by health officials and medical professionals when quite a number will not willingly be vaccinated themselves.

    As for smallpox, that has been covered well here:
    Small Pox – Big Lie – Bioterrorism Implications of Flawed Theories of Eradication

    and here:
    Smallpox Eradication – One of History’s Biggest Lies & How Vaccination Did Not Eradicate Smallpox

    There is little point claiming victory for vaccinations over diseases which were dying out by themselves in combination with clean water, sanitation and better nutrition as living conditions improved.

    And on improved living conditions you should take a look here:
    Vaccines Did Not Save Us – 2 Centuries Of Official Statistics]

  4. Also the title of this article is really misleading. If you read the original FDA statement they say ,

    “Based on an animal model, the study conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and published November 25, 2013, in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that acellular pertussis vaccines licensed by the FDA are effective in preventing the disease among those vaccinated, but suggests that they may not prevent infection from the bacteria that causes whooping cough in those vaccinated or its spread to other people, including those who may not be vaccinated.”

    This does not mean that it does not work. It means that there would a greater risk to unvaccinated individuals who come into contact with a carrier.

    Choosing not to vaccinate your children is up to you but, please make those decisions based on the actual facts.

    ex. The side effects from the whole cell pertussis vaccine include: redness and swelling at the site of injection, along with fever and agitation. Not severe.

    [ED: mass immunisation programmes are a public health measure to control disease. When they do not control disease they are not working. So if say infants and others can contract whooping cough from vaccinated individuals that undermines the argument for mass immunisation programmes and reinforces the argument to the 21 century development of effective treatments for the most basic of all diseases, so that no one is put at risk of any vaccine and those at risk of disease can be treated rapidly and effectively.

    Just think how different the world would be if we had a measles pill.

    Did you not know that there is still no effective treatment for measles?]

  5. @ED:

    The old idiom “an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, stands so true in this instance. Most vaccines give between 90-95% immunity against infection. I’m not arguing that a cure all pill would not be amazing, but the complete eradication of disease, something that is possible if there are not susceptible hosts left, would be better.

    Again they did not say it does not prevent disease. If you read the literature on the acellular pertussis vaccine you can see that it matches the FDA findings. It gives comparable protection in the short term but immunity wanes in the long term. Not being as effective as the whole cell pertussis vaccine, in my definition, is not the same as “not working.” (but we are arguing semantics at this point). My original comment was directed at the fact that the FDA did NOT say that the vaccine does not work. The title of this article is a poor paraphrase at best, downright misleading at worst.

    Lastly, I’m sorry but the idea that smallpox vaccination had nothing to do with its eradication is just unreal. The improved sanitation seen in the west was not and is not a global phenomenon. The, very advanced and expensive, health care and public health system that we are lucky enough to benefit from are not universal luxuries. So, yes of course isolation of cases works, it is an integral part of any disease control effort, but so is vaccination. To honestly believe that vaccines do not work you just have to ignore the mountain of evidence to the contrary. Are they perfect? No. Nothing a man ever makes will be but they are effective. Are you missing the fact that we are discussing the rise in pertussis cases after a change in a vaccination practice?
    The reason there is no treatment for measles is development of disease specific anti-virals are extremely expensive, and often anti-viral medication have harsh and severe side-effects. Viruses are still very difficult for modern medicine to confront. Besides do you realize that the people who would make this supposed “measles pill” would most likely be the same people that make the vaccines you don’t like for some reason.

    [ED: Daniel, thanks for your opinions.]

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