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Local hospital seeing more newborns with Whooping Cough because people aren't vacinnating

(70 Posts)
aufaniae Wed 12-Sep-12 17:17:43

Just had a chat with a nurse friend and she says the numbers of newborns admitted to her hospital as very ill with Whooping Cough is rising, because people aren't vaccinating. sad

I fully understand that there are reasons why some people can't vaccinate, but I am just so fed up with trying to explain why vaccinating is a good idea to some of my friends who don't do it - or delay it - for spurious reasons like "she's so young, I can't bear to put poison in her just yet". angry

Or "it's a conspiracy by the pharma companies" hmm

Or "the diseases aren't that bad, I remember having them when I was little and none of my friends died" hmm hmm

My anti-vac friends seem know all about the risks of vaccines and sod all about the risks of the diseases they're preventing! They also don't seem to have grasped how their actions may affect others.

It's very frustrating, and terribly sad when you hear stories like the ones my nurse friend told me today.

OK, rant over, just had to vent!

LeBFG Fri 14-Sep-12 12:55:14

The vaccine is NOT ineffective!!! That comment just exemplifies why I think your vaccine-dismissing is so wrong. Where's the evidence that we're headed to a pre-vaccine-like era wrt wc?

You say you're worried about waning immunity, then boosters will help this. I think in France they booster young teens now. Perhaps a thing to be doing in the UK? I guess there must be a very good reason not to vaccinate the newborns....or else someone other than bm would have thought of that one!

bruffin Fri 14-Sep-12 13:19:28

The graph that BM proudly linked to on another thread shows just how effective the vaccine has been.
The US went from over 7100 deaths in a 3 year period (late 1930s) prior to vaccination, to under 100 deaths in a the whole of the 1990s.
Most of those deaths were in the age bracket that cant be vaccinated but the 1938-1940 period there were around 2500 deaths in the 2 month and under bracket.
So from2500 deaths in 3 years to 94 deaths in 10 years and they claim the WC vaccine doesnt work hmm

bruffin Fri 14-Sep-12 13:21:13

Just to clarify the 7100 deaths were in children under 1 year of age.

bumbleymummy Fri 14-Sep-12 13:21:31

You know we use a different vaccine now bruffin don't you?

bumbleymummy Fri 14-Sep-12 13:27:53

I suppose it depends on your definition of 'effective'. You could argue that it is effective in protecting the individual for a short period of time but it is ineffective in providing long lasting protection and/or creating protection for the 'herd'.

bruffin Fri 14-Sep-12 13:31:23

That is fairly irrelvent as the vaccine was changed in 1997 during the second period and in the period for 2000-2006 there were only 145 deaths. Even now there will be a fraction of the pre vaccination figures.

bruffin Fri 14-Sep-12 13:32:40

It's effective at what it is meant to do ie prevent death.

MangoLangoTango Fri 14-Sep-12 13:39:17

The ideal vaccine would provide lifelong immunity. But a vaccine that provides protection for even a few years is still effective, you just need more boosters. That's pretty obvious.

Failure to provide herd immunity is not the fault of the vaccine, that lies with poor uptake.

LeBFG Fri 14-Sep-12 13:42:44

Ahh, here we go. Using terms like 'short' and 'long'.

The old vaccine immunity still waned. In fact, waning immunity (i.e. where they test for antibodies years after vaccination) may be very similar in both the old and the new vaccines. The new vaccine may be less effective - perhaps immune system is less well triggered during infection, no idea really.

Bruffin's point is very strong and needs adressing: the graph you posted shows young babies die less now than historically. How can this be explained is the vaccine is 'ineffective'? (on an aside, this graph alse shows how well the herd immunity effect can work, even with a vaccine that wanes - thanks for the link)

saintlyjimjams Fri 14-Sep-12 13:47:39

Elaine - I'm not sure that people not vaccinating is making much difference to these outbreaks (esp because actually very few people refuse the early jabs, and if you want to protect against tetanus you are forced to have aP as well). It's lazy (and dangerous) to automatically blaming the 'anti-vaccinators'.

Quick google - this was published in the last 13 hours (and there are others like it published around the same time - so not the rag of choice, but bang up to date and I'm sure the original sources can be found. Reasons for the US outbreaks

LeBFG Fri 14-Sep-12 14:53:39

In the States, vaccine coverage is good but not excellent. At three doses most States are around the 95%, but for the full four doses, most States are at about 75-85% (the virgin islands at 61.8!).

As I said earlier, vaccine coverage is often given for large regions and may not reveal local pockets of poor immunisation levels. These pockets may be just enough to maintain the disease at a level so that when an outbreak occurs (as they do in relatively regular waves) the outbreaks are more serious. Just speculating.

Your article, saintly, talks about the 'main' reason for the outbreaks being the change in vaccine. It would appear there are other reasons too.

saintlyjimjams Fri 14-Sep-12 15:13:26

My point LeBFG, is that if people say 'oh well it's the anti-vaccinators' and focus efforts there while ignoring the need for more boosters/development of a better vaccination then more babies will die.

It would appear to be more sensible to focus on the 'main' reason if you want to deal with the outbreaks. Rather than say I think we can safely say that people not vaccinating isn't helping the situation much when I'm not sure - in these outbreaks at least - that there is much evidence for that.

If you look at American figures it seems amongst children the rates of vaccination coverage for pertussis is high, whereas the rates for adults are low. more info here Even in the States where presumably babies go into daycare at a much younger age than here (given the lack of maternity leave) they say Indeed, family members are often the source of pertussis exposure in young infants. This is adults infecting babies - that's the problem, this is apparently due to waning immunity, not anti-vaccinators.

Much as it's fun to have a bash at those who don't vaccinate it would make more practical sense to focus on the steps needed to actually stop these outbreaks.

saintlyjimjams Fri 14-Sep-12 15:25:21

This is interesting

This is a bit odd: In 2006, Tdap was recommended for adults and adolescents, with routine vaccination recommended at age 11–12 years. Although the relative reduction in incidence of pertussis among adolescents aged 11–12 years demonstrates immediate vaccine effectiveness, the increasing number of cases in adolescents aged 13–14 years in both Washington and the United States suggests immunity wanes after Tdap vaccination in those adolescents fully vaccinated with acellular vaccines during childhood (5). In observational studies, Tdap effectiveness was 66%–72% among adolescents who largely received DTwP for some of the childhood doses (5,6). Studies evaluating Tdap effectiveness and duration of protection in adolescents fully vaccinated with DTaP are being conducted in Washington and California.

Would the 13 and 14 year olds in the group have received the 11-12 year old booster? Or did they miss it? They must have had it surely??

Also does anyone know any more about vaccinating pregnant women? I've seen that recommended and must admit it makes me nervous. But asides from that I thought that wild type whooping cough antibodies don't pass easily across the placenta (which I thought was the reason why newborns are so susceptible). Any further explanation regarding that would be welcomed. Is vaccine induced immunity more transferable or something, or are babies born with passive w/c immunity.

numbertaker Fri 14-Sep-12 18:46:56

I have read loads round this, it is a different strain, and in a pub med study I read this morning it shows that the strain of vaccine injected acutally inhibts the clearing of the other strain from the body, showing that people who have had the DTAP are more likely to get the other strain, this is borne out in the california study.

Australia have stoppedc cocooning as it has proven that it has not stopped transmission of the W/C and is not cost effective.

Again there are higher that needed vaccine coverage so you cant blame the non vaxxers on this one.

Tabitha8 Fri 14-Sep-12 18:48:44 from 2006.
This is interesting, although it's about pigs, not people.
They vaccinated the mothers and immunity was passed in the milk.

Although, it also says this:
"In pigs, in contrast to humans, immunoglobulins are not transmitted in utero, which makes colostrum and milk the only source of antibodies and therefore limits the use of this model for analyzing passive transfer of immunity"

numbertaker Fri 14-Sep-12 18:50:17

[ study]

numbertaker Fri 14-Sep-12 18:50:40

saintlyjimjams Fri 14-Sep-12 18:56:17

This is oldish (1990) but talks about passive immunity in the pre and post vaccine era. You have to squint to read it though. I am slightly struck by how uncertain it all seems.

I remember when 8 week old ds2 was exposed coming to the conclusion that he wasn't likely to have had that much passive immunity from me or breast feeding.

saintlyjimjams Fri 14-Sep-12 19:01:05

Thanks for the piglet link. That's all a bit uncertain as well isn't it.

Northernlurkerisbackatwork Fri 14-Sep-12 19:04:48

Oh dear. I am really worried about this. I am convinced dd1 had whooping cough earlier this year. I took her to the GP a month after symptoms started and GP dismissed WC. I know now that was a pretty typical reaction. She did give her erithromycin though which improved things a bit.
All my dcs have been vacconated and dd1 had a booster only a year or so ago I think. However neither of the other girls seem to have contracted it from dd1, nor have dh and I (vaccinated in the 70s). Thankfully neither did our newborn niece who we visited the week after dd1 had been a bit feverish but appeared perfectly ok except for a cough. I thought it was just a cough as a tail end of a bug. Niece has a toddler brother and cousin and dd1 was well so it never occurred to me not to go. I am furious with myself about that now and have warned my best friend to be cautious. She is expecting dc2 next month. I know it worried her when I told her about it but I think this is risk parents should be aware of. In my local paper this year there has been one story of a newborn dying from whooping cough sad

Tabitha8 Fri 14-Sep-12 19:13:20
This says no immunity is passed in breastmilk.
"Although infants who are breastfed are usually protected against most common childhood infections, they receive no protection against whooping cough. This is why early vaccination is recommended. "

I can't even find anything about this in the "crankosphere". Most odd.

LeBFG Fri 14-Sep-12 20:10:09

That's quite a interesting study numbertaker. How sad that the aP vaccine was rolled out as it was a safer vaccine only to see these sorts of possible, weirdly unpredictable side-effects. Makes one wonder if we should have stuck with the wP.

saintlyjimjams Fri 14-Sep-12 20:28:54

I'm actually very surprised that no-one is suggesting reintroducing the wP. Particularly as it sounds as if an improved aP is a long way from development. Wonder why that is.

saintlyjimjams Fri 14-Sep-12 20:32:14

There's this one as well numbertaker

numbertaker Fri 14-Sep-12 22:43:18

they cant reintroduce the whole cell because they withdrew it because of too many side effects.

as for vaccinating new borns the vaccine insert says that it is not to be given under 6 weeks old, and if they suddenly say its ok, i want to see the studies.

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