Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vaccinating for Whooping Cough: Life Saving Advice

An article published a few days ago discusses how there has been a trend of whooping cough in the Seattle area.  The original article can be found here.

One key fact pointed out is how the Seattle area has a rate of 136 infections for every 100,000 infants whereas among the entire US the rate is 97 infections for every 100,000 infants.  A report published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine included a retrospective analysis of infected infants in the Seattle area from 2002 through 2007 and they found the primary cause was exposure from a family member who was not fully vaccinated and thus could spread the disease to others.

As the article states, in the study of the babies who came down with whooping cough, "the researchers found that nearly half the people who lived or worked with the babies were eligible to receive a vaccine that would have protected them". 

The article also mentions that whooping cough (which is also known as pertussis) "causes uncontrollable, violent coughing, infects 30 to 50 million people a year globally and kills about 300,000, mostly children in developing countries".

So ask yourself - how many children would die in the US each year if Mr. Hubbs had his way and all vaccinations were eliminated?  Would 20 dead children be considered acceptable?  How about 100?  Would 1000 dead children be ok as long as the antivaxxers like Mr. Hubbs were happy?

That may seem like it is dramatization, however the article states that the problem with whooping cough infections "may be getting worse because some parents have been reluctant to vaccinate their children -- and the more unimmunized people there are in a community, the more likely there are to be outbreaks. One recent whooping cough outbreak in California has affected more than 6,400 people and killed at least 10 infants".

Obviously even with widespread vaccine usage there is no guarantee that every infant will be protected because no vaccine has 100% success rate in preventing the spread of a disease, but obviously the risk would be much less if more adults received the recommended vaccinations to prevent passing the disease onto the infants.  The reality is most infants who contract pertussis are not old enough to have received the full schedule of vaccinations and therefore rely upon the adults around them being vaccinated in order to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.

Obviously an antivaxxer such as Mr. Hubbs would say those babies would be better off without anyone being vaccinated, but that begs the question... are we really willing to deal with the ramifications of an unprotected populace simply to appease some antivaxxers who seem to believe vaccinations cause autism even when they don't have one single peer-reviewed scientific study to support that belief?  How many more children must suffer the complications of a disease like whooping cough - or worse, how many more children must die before antivaxxers realize how harmful their opinions really are?

It is clear there are those people on this earth who really have a sincere desire to protect children and those are the doctors and nurses and support staff who are out there doing their best to ensure each and every child is protected via vaccinations.  Then there are those people like Mr. Hubbs as his fellow antivaxxer friends who proclaim to care about children, but in reality do everything in their power to ensure those children continue to suffer from preventable disease all in the name of avoiding what they perceive as harmful.

Thankfully the antivaxxer movement has been losing ground the past few years and vaccination rates are on the rise. There is still work to be done, but luckily the situation seems to be improving year after year.


  1. Lowell Hubbs and his antivaxer buddies wont be happy until vaccines are banned worldwide and we can go back to having random plagues that kill millions of people. They just can’t admit how many lives are saved so they continue to think vaccines are bad without admitting how many people including those within their own families may not be here today if it were not for vaccines.

    Maybe these idiots should go find an island where they can all have a vaccine free commune. They would probably all be dead within two generations, but at least we wouldn’t have to listen to their baloney anymore.

    Does anyone find it odd that Lowell works for a place that uses vaccines in their products? If he is really so anti-vaccine, why does he work there? Why isn’t he protesting and working for a place that has no connection to vaccines instead of proving himself to be a hypocrite every single working day?

  2. I guess I'm not familiar with where Mr. Hubbs works. If I recall correctly, a comment left here at one time mentioned something about a day labor place that was sending him to a meat processing facility. If that is in fact true (and I cannot state either way) then I suppose it stands to reason they use antibiotics and vaccines in all of the animals that are processed in that facility, because as far as I know there are no totally organic mean processors in the region.

    I'd be curious to know if Mr. Hubbs has a personal objection to meat from an animal which has been vaccinated or if he has some opinions (read: conspiracy theories) on whether those vaccines somehow travel into the person consuming the meat and cause other health issues.

    That could open up a whole new level of discussion, but it does call into question the sincerety of a person who would draw an income from the very thing he opposes (assuming he does in fact work for such a facility of course).


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