(NaturalNews) Widespread vaccination of adults against whooping cough (pertussis) would do almost nothing to reduce infection rates among unvaccinated children, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan and published in the journal Science.
In October, a U.S. government advisory panel recommended that all adults over the age of 65 be revaccinated with the Tdap (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis) shot in order to prevent them from infecting children under the age of one, who are too young to receive the vaccine themselves. The recommendation was sparked by a recent whooping cough outbreak in California that infected 6,400 people and led to the death of at least 10 infants.
To test whether it is really likely for adults to infect young children with whooping cough, researchers examined data from Sweden, where pertussis vaccination was halted between 1979 and 1996 due to safety concerns, but government monitoring of the disease continued.
"We took advantage of an unplanned natural experiment," researcher Pejman Rohani said.
The researchers compared whooping cough infection rates in Sweden with data from a 2008 study tracking social contacts by age in eight European countries. They found that children interact mostly with other children, and are unlikely to be infected by adults. And indeed it was the resumption of routine childhood pertussis vaccination in Sweden that produced a drop in childhood infection rates.
"Infant immunization produces a protective effect for other children, who are likely to be mixing with other infants," the researchers wrote.
The study casts further doubt on the mainstream medical consensus that widespread routine vaccination is the safest and most effective way to reduce infection rates.
"Scientific evidence links vaccinations to chronic fatigue, autoimmune disorders, aids, learning disabilities, and other health problems," writes Ron Garner in his book Conscious Health.
"[In contrast,] Viera Scheibner notes that the annual death rate in Europe prior to 1940 from diphtheria was 'negligible (less than 300 deaths per million).' "