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An Alternate View of Whooping Cough

Recently, there has been a change in the official "conventional" view of the whooping cough vaccine. Although many in the natural health community have for years been saying that this particular vaccine is largely ineffective, our own Center For Disease control manned by "experts" with close ties to the major vaccine manufacturers, have until just recently, disregarded the views of the "anti-vaccine camp" (Despite the fact that this view is backed up by studies published in the medical journals. eg "The 1993 Epidemic of Pertussis in Cincinnati" --New England Journal of Medicine, July 7, 1994, and Clinical Infectious Disease, Oct, 1995) As well as anecdotal reports from parents right from the very beginning of widespread use of the vaccines.

According to an AP article published in the KC Star on Sunday April 29, 2002 ("Whooping Cough Returns Worldwide") Scientists don't know why the disease is making a comeback, but are considering that perhaps the vaccine's protection wears off after a few years or else the disease is evolving strains that are resistant to the vaccine.

It is sad that these people (the scientists and experts) who are setting health policies for the masses are failing to use the facts here to climb out of their box and perhaps shift their fundamental paradigm to one that could really improve people's health.

The current recommendation for vaccination against Pertussis (Whooping Cough) calls for five different doses of this vaccine administered at 2,4,6, 18 months and again at five years. How did they come to recommend FIVE doses? They used to recommend four -- claiming that four offered immunity. Eventually evidence to the contrary forced them to add an additional shot. Four or course came about when faced with the fact that three was not sufficient....

I can only assume that when one's entire education, social connections, and economic security are all linked with a particular belief (that is the orthodox view endorsed by modern medicine -- that germs alone cause disease and invasive and/or toxic technologies offer the only hope) well then it becomes very difficult for individuals to think outside of the paradigm to which they have become accustomed.

So every time these experts are faced with new facts or evidence that COULD provide an opportunity to question if the theory upon which they are staking everything might be flawed, they work extra hard to explain away these anomalies and continue along the same path. So now that they are faced with the fact that five vaccines also does not protect what are some experts proposing? That expectant mothers now get booster shots in the third trimester of pregnancy! That they think might protect their infants -- the one's most at risk of dying from pertussis.

I would consider such a proposal extremely unwise! It is clear from research conducted relating to the development of allergies that exposure to allergens in the third trimester can be a significant time for priming a baby to develop allergies. The biggest concern of course has been that protein fragments not properly digested in the mother's gut, can pass through into her bloodstream and sensitize her unborn child. So just imagine what happens when potentially allergenic substances bypass the gut altogether and have direct access to the mother's bloodstream and thus the placenta! If this doesn't cause noticeable harm to the baby, it would surely increase the likelihood of a reaction when that baby gets its subsequent doses after birth. In light of the fact that the pertussis vaccine has already been linked by some studies with brain damage, learning disorders, seizures and crib death, to even consider injecting it into the body of pregnant women suggests to me, serious incompetence on the part of the "experts"

When I look at the "facts" as presented in the recent article appearing in the KC Star, I find an entirely different explanation for them. First off, I do not believe that the decrease in numbers of cases diagnosed as whooping cough after the introduction of the vaccine are in fact a result of the vaccine. It must be remembered that ALL diseases have their own natural history, that is separate from anything that we humans have done, diseases rates increase and decrease from factors we have yet to clearly identify ....Sunspot cycles? Climatic fluctuations? Natural selection killing off the most susceptible individuals who don't reach adulthood and thus do not pass along their genes?

Since the introduction and widespread adoption of the pertussis vaccine, hygiene and sanitation have improved, emergency medicine has also improved, more antibiotics have become available (which if not over prescribed for minor complaints, but administered at the appropriate time can be lifesaving for infants with pertussis) All of these factors would likely diminish the death rate from pertussis, which unfortunately too often is unfairly attributed almost exclusively to the vaccine.

Still there is yet another factor that figures into the views of those who promote the perutssis vaccine as being responsible for a decline in pertussis. The organism which causes pertussis is notorious for being a very difficult organism to grow in culture -- in other words when a doctor swabs the nose or back of the throat in an individual who appears to have pertussis, it is more likely then not, that this organism will not "grow out" on the culture dish and the doctor will pronounce that the patient does not have pertussis. He then calls the illness something else... Croup? RSV? Hemophillus influenza B? It is only in more recent years that more sophisticated blood testing has shown us this. Combine this with the fact that doctors, due to their very biased education which emphasizes the interests and perspectives of the powerful multinational drug and medical technology corporations (and this doesn't just stop once they graduate -- have you noticed all the drug company logos on "freebies" in your doctor's office? or noticed how quickly the drug rep gets in while you have to wait endlessly for your appointment?) have for the longest time been completely averse to even considering that perhaps the vaccine is less effective then they've been told.

Why, if the theory of vaccination makes so much sense, do children today seem to spend so much more of their time sick and on medication. Why are not the people entrusted with making national recommendations regarding our children's health not questioning what is going on? They love to quote statistics showing decreases in mortality of specific illnesses like measles, smallpox, polio, since the introduction of vaccines, and yet seem strangely unable to see the forest through the trees -- ask any teacher who has been in the classroom over thirty years and they will tell you that yes, more children are chronically sick today then thirty years ago. It is a fact, that asthma and allergies are skyrocketing. Childhood cancer is increasing. Antibiotic use by children has increased dramatically. Autism and learning disorders are also way up. Now obviously there are many factors one could reasonably suggest as underlying causes of decreasing childhood health ....including diets and environmental degradation. But how can any rational person consider for a moment that our focus upon vaccinations has in fact been responsible for an overall improvement in the health of our nations children? The fact is, during this same time, advances in technology and emergency medicine have been phenomenal. Shouldn't we be seeing some general overall indications that vaccinating more and more is correlated with less antibiotic use? Less doctor's visits? Less hospitalizations? Less medical interventions?

There is another paradigm that parents could consider. In all my years of schooling this was never presented to me (I am by training a microbiologist) This paradigm has been advocated by many wise individuals throughout history from Hippocrates, to Hahnaman. It is often called the vitalist tradition and it presupposes a "vital force" as animating the human. It further presupposes that much of what we call illness or symptoms are not in fact the enemy -- but rather are instead the body's attempts to rid itself of an imbalance. When we go about stopping symptoms by suppressing them (for example using cortisone to treat a rash, or a decongestant for stuffed up nose) we may in fact be sabotaging our body's best efforts to get us well and merely pushing the imbalance deeper to be expressed in some other more serious way at a later time. The vitalist tradition also suggests that the "germ theory of disease" has in fact been given way to much emphasis. While I do not dispute the fact that some germs can be very dangerous, we seem to have totally ignored the fact that not all individuals become equally ill from the same exposure, nor does the same individual become ill from multiple exposures to the same germ (for instance one of my children had to be exposed 5 times to chickenpox before she actually came down with the illness). The germ theory has limitations -- it fails to address "the terrain." That is the overall state of health of the individual. Many of the germs that are now being credited as the cause for growing infections in children were previously known to be normal (rarely disease-causing) inhabitants of the human body like Hemophilus Influenza B, (HIB) I believe, that when the immune system is weakened by sugar, bad fats, other vaccines, antibiotic use, steroid use, stress, it increases the likelihood that one of these "harmless" bacteria will appear to multiply unchecked and then be identified as the "cause" of the person's illness. In fact I would see it as merely an opportunist but not as the true cause of the person's illness. We are at any moment exposed to hundreds of different microorganisms. Anytime we experience severe immune system depression we are at risk from some of these.

Vaccine proponents advocate an endless mission to seek out, and eradicate all possibly harmful germs. (Which for most bacteria and viruses is not even possible since they have reservoirs outside of the human body.) And yet they all seem to have forgotten the Hippocratic oath of "First do no harm." (Which they smugly claim vaccines do not cause any harm -- despite the fact that their are virtually no published studies that show that long-term vaccines are not damaging to the immune system!) Fortunately, this is not our only choice. We can work to live in as healthy of a manner as possible. Educating ourselves about diet, how to minimize our exposure to environmental toxins, and work to turn our extended families into assets that help us feel connected and can thus be health supporting rather then increasing our isolation and possibly adversely affecting our health.

But the most important thing to remember in all of this is that THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES! Life is an uncertain venture. We all know plenty of people who have done all of the "right" things (that is "right" as defined by the prevailing medical wisdom) and they have still fallen victims of the very things that modern medicine assured them it could prevent. Likewise, I know people who have taken personal responsibility for their health and worked hard to eat well, breast feed a long time, didn't vaccinate....and they too have occasionally had sick children. Yet I do believe that most people making wise, health-promoting choices will overall experience much better health then those who merely follow what the medical-industrial complex promotes.

And as a parent consider this....does it matter to you WHAT the illness your child gets is called? Does it matter if the doctors can assure you that your child (properly immunized) was protected from x,y,z, and q.....but now they don't know exactly why your child has developed some other illness which keeps necessitating giving them mildly toxic medicines to treat it...OR does it matter more that your child experiences a level of health good enough that you never feel a need to get them medical help? While I can't guarantee you that not vaccinating and eating a whole-foods plant based diet, and breast feeding for several years will put your child in this latter group, I can tell you that the ONLY children I have met to date who have been this healthy were in fact not vaccinated, long term exclusively breast fed and eating a whole-foods plant based diet.

If you liked this article, you may be also be interested in Chapter four of my book which is entirely devoted to the topic of vaccinations. Please take the time to read a copy -- as the whole book deals with the larger issue of how to help our children be as healthy as possible -- physically, mentally and emotionally. It is an easy and quick read and provide much useful information.

If you prefer to not purchase a copy, Compassionate Souls is widely available in libraries throughout America. If your library does not own a copy it can be easily procured through inter-library loan.

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