[NVIC] More Required Vaccines and Bogus Whooping Cough Cases
August 29, 2007
National Vaccine Information Center
A young boy on the beach was throwing the washed-up starfish back into
the ocean. A stranger passing by told him not to bother, because it would
not make any difference, there were thousands of beaches and millions of
starfish, and it would not be possible to save all of them. The boy reached
down, picked up a starfish, threw it back into the ocean and said, smiling
softly, " I made a difference for that one!"
"While there are a few exceptions, students who begin school without this
[Tdap] vaccination will have two weeks from September 1 to get it or,
legally, the schools will be obligated to exclude them from attending
school, according to Claire Pospisil, spokesperson for the New York State
Department of Health.....The reason for the new vaccine is simple: to
protect the health of children and adults, Pospisil said. "We have had a
widespread outbreak of pertussis or whooping cough in New York State
throughout the previous year, 2006, and because of this, there will be a
protective benefit against whooping cough if people are vaccinated," she
[vaccine] for adults," she noted....But according to Dr. Lawrence Palevsky,
a holistic pediatrician at the Northport Wellness Center, the new
immunization requirement, especially for pertussis, may be a bit
the potential neurological complications in children above seven years old
who are given this vaccine"....
and director at the Northport Wellness Center, individuals who have not
received any vaccinations may have a natural immunity to a particular
virus. However, the case may be different for those who already have
participated in routine vaccinations since infancy." - Michelle Gabrielle
Centamore, Suffolk Life (August 22, 2007)
"A reported boom in U.S. whooping cough cases is now being questioned
after health officials discovered a regularly used lab test misdiagnosed
cases in suspected outbreaks in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Tennessee.
The false test results led thousands of people to take antibiotics
unnecessarily and even caused a New Hampshire hospital to limit the number
of patients admitted since hospital workers were thought to be
United States since 2001, with nearly 26,000 cases reported in 2005. Nearly
half of those cases were diagnosed with the testing method now called into
question, and that has raised doubts about the true number of
Whoa, it wasn't really pertussis!" said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of
Vanderbilt University's department of preventive medicine." - Mike Stobbe,
Associated Press (August 23, 2007)
Barbara Loe Fisher Commentary:
When public health authorities choose to scare us by hyping the dangers of
infectious disease, like whooping cough (pertussis), the least we can
expect is that they have gotten their scientific facts straight. The
Keystone Cops act is not very reassuring: "Whoa, look at this big outbreak!
Whoa, it wasn't really pertussis!".
For the last several years, public health officials have been beating the
drums, warning us that whooping cough is on the rise despite a more than 95
percent uptake of pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine by all children
entering kindergarten, who are required by most states to have 3-5 doses of
DTaP (diphtheria- tetanus-acellular pertussis) vaccine before they can
attend school. The CDC's solution has been to recommend yet another dose of
pertussis vaccine via a booster Tdap shot for all 11-12 year old children.
New York and other state health officials are in the process of persuading
politicians to add Tdap to state mandatory vaccination laws. That "more is
better" solution, say federal health officials, will finally stamp out
But now, we find out that many of the whooping cough cases reported in the
"outbreaks" around the country, such as in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and
Tennessee, were bogus cases because some "speedy" lab tests to confirm
whooping cough give a false positive the majority of the time. So the
reported tripling of whooping cough cases in the past five years may be a
total fabrication and the push for children to get another booster dose of
Tdap at 11-12 years old may not make any difference at all.
There are other infectious organisms, such as parapertussis, which cause
respiratory disease that can mimic whooping cough and they are not covered
in the Tdap vaccine. Lab diagnosis is critical to accurately confirming and
treating whooping cough and it is unfortunate that it has taken so long to
uncover the ineffectiveness of the lab test used to confirm many suspected
whooping cough cases today.
But more importantly, the rush by federal health officials to add yet
another booster dose of vaccine without carefully investigating why
whooping cough is apparently occurring in a highly vaccinated child
population does not inspire confidence in the evidence with which the CDC
supports vaccine recommendations. Assumptions are a poor replacement for
Equally concerning is the lack of scientific evidence supporting the
safety of giving children entering puberty multiple vaccines, such as Tdap,
meningococcal, HPV and chicken pox vaccine and others without long term
studies evaluating the impact of pre-adolescent vaccination on brain and
immune function. Today, the CDC recommends that, by age 11, children should
have received 53-56 doses of 15 or 16 vaccines depending upon if the child
is a boy or girl. Where are the safety studies that demonstrate this much
vaccination leads to greater long term good health?
America's highly vaccinated children are in the midst of a chronic disease
and disability epidemic, with millions of them suffering with learning
disabilities, ADHD, autism, asthma, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disorder,
severe food allergies and other kinds of brain and immune dysfunction that
affected far fewer children in the past when far fewer vaccines were given
to them. The last thing our sick children need now is one more vaccine.
Motives Behind Vaccine Requirements Questioned
August 22, 2007
by Michelle Gabrielle Centamore
Click here for the URL:
The New York State Department of Health has announced a change in the
immunization requirements for school entry. Students who are entering sixth
grade on or after September 1, 2007 and who are 11 years of age or older
are now required to receive a combination vaccination called Tdap, related
to diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis, or whooping cough.
While there are a few exceptions, students who begin school without this
vaccination will have two weeks from September 1 to get it or, legally, the
schools will be obligated to exclude them from attending school, according
to Claire Pospisil, spokesperson for the New York State Department of
Health. In addition, Pospisil said, "we anticipate that there will be a new
requirement regarding a booster dose for varicella - chicken pox - in the
Although notice of the new immunization requirements was announced in
spring 2007, time is running out for those students who have not updated
their immunizations to meet the new requirements by the state.
Prior to the new requirement, Pospisil said, "students would have received
a 'booster' with tetanus and diphtheria, which has been recommended every
10 years - most sixth-graders would have originally received their first
diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine in infancy - so the pertussis
bundled in with the other two is an opportunity for them to get immunity
for all of them at the same time."
Students who have received a Td, DT, or DTaP vaccination within the past
two years, may defer their Tdap for another two years, said Pospisil.
Students who are 10 years old and are entering sixth grade may also wait
until they turn 11 before they receive the vaccination, Pospisil said, but
they will be expected to follow through with the vaccinations once they
turn 11. Regarding children entering grades above sixth, Pospisil added,
"We recommend an eighth-grader, for example, who has not had a booster in
two years, consult with their healthcare provider regarding the Tdap."
The reason for the new vaccine is simple: to protect the health of children
and adults, Pospisil said. "We have had a widespread outbreak of pertussis
or whooping cough in New York State throughout the previous year, 2006, and
because of this, there will be a protective benefit against whooping cough
if people are vaccinated," she explained. Until recently, she added, a
vaccine for pertussis was only available for children, not adults. "The
drug manufacturers have just approved a pertussis [vaccine] for adults,"
she noted. "One is good for [those] ages 11 to 65, called Adacel, and the
other, for children ages 10 to 18, [is] called Boostrix."
"In infancy, children receive DTP - diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis - but
the pertussis only lasts about seven years and then that child, as well as
all adults, would not be protected against pertussis or whooping cough,"
explained Donna McPartlan, a school nurse at Elwood Middle School.
Requiring 11-year-olds to receive this vaccine, said McPartlan, assures a
greater protection for not just children, but adults and infants, as well.
"How many adults go for shots?" McPartlan said. "Nobody. How am I going to
immunize my brand new mothers bringing home infant babies? I don't see them
before they are pregnant. So wouldn't it be great if I could immunize them
while they are in school so it would last," she said, adding that all of
her students and their families have been reminded several times since the
initial announcement by the state DOH.
"We support anything that is going to provide good health for children,"
stated Adrienne Robb-Fund, assistant superintendent for elementary
education in Commack. "If the department of health thinks this is
important, we support it." Moreover, Robb-Fund noted that, like most
schools, Commack sent notification of the new immunization requirements to
students and their families back in spring. "We haven't mandated it ...
it's the law, and technically, after 14 days, we are supposed to not have
the child in school, and that is what we want to avoid," she said.
But according to Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, a holistic pediatrician at the
Northport Wellness Center, the new immunization requirement, especially for
pertussis, may be a bit premature. While Pospisil said that a pertussis
vaccine was not given to older children (versus infants) because there was
not one available for them, Palevsky said it is more a matter of health and
Regarding the DPT, Palevsky said, "Every single study that has been done in
the past on the DPT has clearly shown that it is not safe to give it to
children above the age of seven because of neurological complications. But
now all of a sudden what they are saying is that the new studies show that
there is no worry about neurological complications for children above seven
years old. It is a huge leap to go from 'there may be severe neurological
complications if children above the age of seven are getting the vaccine'
to 'it's now safe to give it to children at 11 years old.' I don't think
true due diligence has been done to evaluate the potential neurological
complications in children above seven years old who are given this vaccine."
There is not enough evidence to support the safety of the new vaccine or
effectiveness in reducing the incidence of pertussis, according to
Palevsky. "We need to explore how an outbreak of an illness really occurs,
to understand why vaccination may not reduce the incidence of an infectious
illness like pertussis," he said.
According to Dr. Alan Sherr, chiropractor and director at the Northport
Wellness Center, individuals who have not received any vaccinations may
have a natural immunity to a particular virus. However, the case may be
different for those who already have participated in routine vaccinations
since infancy. "There is a dilemma in the argument when you are looking at
a population that has already received all of their vaccines to this point
and do not carry any natural immunity on their own," Sherr said. This
dilemma, he said, may raise the question: "Is it then appropriate to
vaccinate that population because they are already immune deficient? Should
we? Maybe .... Those children never had the opportunity of getting these
conditions on their own; by receiving them artificially, they don't have
"The medical community believes that having the illness is bad for the
child. I don't believe it is," said Palevsky. "In reality, experiencing the
natural illness has immune-boosting effects on the body." And as for the
viruses in the required vaccines, if contracted, Palevsky said, "most
people can make a full recovery."
But what about a second chicken pox vaccine, which according to Pospisil,
may be the next new immunization requirement imposed by the DOH on
According to McPartlan, an 11-year-old child who gets the chicken pox may
experience discomfort, a fever, itchiness and scarring. This child, she
said, will be excluded from school or day care. It also impacts the child's
mother or father economically and socially, she added, and could even pose
a greater health risk on other individuals, a pregnant aunt, for example.
"The virus could cause problems to the fetus .... if you spread it to
someone who is immuno-compromised, it can cause death," she said.
But Palevsky argues that the main reason for giving children the varicella
vaccine is purely economic. "It is to keep parents from having to miss work
by having to stay home for a week when their kids get the chicken pox and
stay out of school," he said. "It is more of an economical reason to give
the vaccine versus, 'a child has a great likelihood of suffering a bad
outcome from getting the chicken pox.'"
The new Tdap vaccine requirement has left some parents and caregivers
feeling more confident that their children will be further protected
against disease, and others feeling frustrated, questioning the intent of
the DOH, as well as the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.
Jackie Carbone, a Centereach resident and an educator at a preschool in
Sayville, said that she is in full support of the new vaccine, as well as
others required by the DOH. "I think that it helps to protect children and
their immune systems against diseases that we could previously not protect
against, diseases that, if contracted, are debilitating or possibly life-
Deer Park resident Alayna Becker recently took her 13- year-old daughter to
be immunized with the Tdap. "I'm sure there is a good reason to have it -
protecting her health and that of others - that is why I got it for her,"
she said. But still, Becker questions the vaccine's effectiveness, since it
still is new. "They could change it along the way because, like other new
drugs, they may find it is not accurate," Becker added. "I am always leery
when there are new requirements for vaccinations.
"I am very concerned about another vaccine for our kids," said Irene
Schmidt, a Huntington resident and mother of two children, ages three and
five. "How many more vaccines will be required when my children enter sixth
grade? I fear both the accumulating effects of additives like mercury and
also the unnatural influence that more vaccines will have on our children's
immune systems." As a parent to a child on the autism spectrum, added
Schmidt, "I feel that the rise in the rate of autism needs to be
definitively explained before any new vaccines are mandated for our kids."
According to the state DOH, by grade 12, students are required to receive
one to four doses of up to 10 different vaccines. Pospisil noted that, as
with any of the vaccines, exemptions for Tdap are made for those who have
proof of antibodies for the virus, valid religious justifications or valid
medical reasons explained by a child's physician.
For more information on the current state immunization requirements, visit
CDC: Whooping cough cases misdiagnosed
August 23, 2007
By Mike Stobbe
Click here for the URL:
A reported boom in U.S. whooping cough cases is now being questioned after
health officials discovered a regularly used lab test misdiagnosed cases in
suspected outbreaks in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Tennessee.
The false test results led thousands of people to take antibiotics
unnecessarily and even caused a New Hampshire hospital to limit the number
of patients admitted since hospital workers were thought to be infected.
The testing errors were reported Thursday by researchers with the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a potentially fatal bacterial respiratory
infection. Its name comes from the sound victims make as they try to
recover their breath after a coughing fit.
Government health officials say cases have tripled in the United States
since 2001, with nearly 26,000 cases reported in 2005. Nearly half of those
cases were diagnosed with the testing method now called into question, and
that has raised doubts about the true number of cases.
"Are we in fact seeing an increase?" asked Dr. Tom Clark, summarizing what
some are wondering. Clark, a CDC epidemiologist, is co-author of the report
on the misdiagnoses.
The most accurate diagnostic testing for whooping cough requires a week or
more to grow the pertussis bacteria from a sample from a patient's nose or
throat. Sometimes that's too long for health authorities to take action to
prevent the disease from spreading.
Increasingly, doctors have depended on a faster, but less accurate test.
Different labs do the tests differently, leading to uneven results, experts
Last October, the less accurate method was used to diagnose a 20-month-old
child with whooping cough at Children's Hospital Boston. Three dozen
specimens from hospital workers also tested positive as well. But those
results were wrong, according to the more reliable bacteria culture test
results, the CDC reported.
The same situation occurred in March 2006, when a lab worker at
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., was diagnosed with the
illness. Nearly 1,000 hospital workers were tested, treated and furloughed
to prevent infecting patients. Thousands were given antibiotics and
vaccinations. The precautions affected staffing levels, and the hospital
had to close off some beds. About 100 employees were diagnosed with
pertussis using the speedy test, results later found to be wrong.
In April 2004, a 5-week-old infant in one Tennessee community, which CDC
wouldn't identify, was diagnosed with whooping cough. Health officials
began looking for the illness in other residents. Ultimately nearly 1,500
people were checked or offered antibiotics; 43 tested positive at first.
But the more reliable test turned up negative results for all except the
baby, the CDC said.
"It's been a roller coaster. Whoa, looks at this big outbreak! Whoa, it
wasn't really pertussis!" said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of
Vanderbilt University's department of preventive medicine.
It's not clear why so many errors were detected in each incident, Clark
said. Contamination of samples does not appear to be the explanation, he
The CDC is planning a study to improve and standardize the method of faster
testing. In the meantime, people should still get recommended pertussis
vaccinations, Clark said.
Clark said he believes there is a real increase in cases, and that many are
going undiagnosed. Two states, Minnesota and Massachusetts, have beefed up
their case-finding and testing and have both seen whooping cough increases,
On the Net:
The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: http://www.cdc.
National Vaccine Information Center
NVIC E-News is a free service of the National Vaccine Information Center
and is supported through membership donations.
NVIC is funded through the financial support of its members and does not
receive any government subsidies. Barbara Loe Fisher, President and Co-
Learn more about vaccines, diseases and how to protect your informed
consent rights at www.nvic.org
National Vaccine Information Center | 204 Mill St. | Suite B1 | Vienna | VA