There is really only one reason to vaccinate – protecting everyone, especially children, from dangerous vaccine preventable diseases. We have eliminated smallpox. We have almost eliminated polio.
And we had almost made measles extinct, until the myth that the MMR vaccine (to prevent mumps, measles and rubella) caused autism, started by one of sciences greatest fraudsters, the defrocked Mr. Andy Wakefield. It’s a myth that’s been thoroughly and definitively debunked.
One vaccine preventable infectious disease that we’ve been unable to conquer is whooping cough (caused by the bacteria, Bordetella pertussis), also known as pertussis. Pertussis is a relatively dangerous infection, the disease itself has serious consequences for children and adults:
- 1 in 4 (23%) get pneumonia (lung infection)
- 1 or 2 in 100 (1.6%) will have convulsions (violent, uncontrolled shaking)
- Two thirds (67%) will have apnea (slowed or stopped breathing)
- 1 in 300 (0.4%) will have encephalopathy (disease of the brain)
- 1 or 2 in 100 (1.6%) will die
As with all medical procedures, there are some adverse effects with the pertussis vaccines. Moderate adverse effects from the vaccine occur in about 1 in 10,000 (or even fewer) injections. The most severe effects, which may or may not be causally related to the vaccine since the rate is so low, are in the range of 1 out of a million doses.
One out of one million doses of the vaccine cause a serious adverse event (maybe). Compare that to the 1-2 out of 100 will die of the disease. Unless you flunk math, there is no rational reason to avoid the vaccine. Continue reading “Why we vaccinate – pertussis and epilepsy are linked”