(NaturalNews) The effectiveness of the pertussis vaccine at preventing whooping cough has been called into question by a new study recently published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Researchers from the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and Public Health England found that whooping cough prevalence among vaccinated children is roughly equal to that of unvaccinated children, suggesting that the shot may, in fact, be useless.
Dr. Kay Wang and her colleagues set out to evaluate the existing vaccination schedule in the UK to see if whooping cough is still as prevalent among children as it was roughly a decade ago. Prior to the introduction of the preschool pertussis booster shot back in 2001, nearly 40 percent of school-age children who presented clinical symptoms of persistent cough were found to be infected with whooping cough.
To determine that percentage today, the team recruited 279 children between the ages of five and 15 who visited their family doctor with a persistent cough lasting between two and eight weeks in duration. Each of the children was tested for whooping cough using oral fluid as a measure of infection, and six of the confirmed cases were also measured using cough frequency.
After crunching the numbers, it was determined that the whooping cough infection rate amongst younger folks dropped by half as a result of the preschool booster shot, presumably supporting its continued use as an effective way to prevent infection. Only 56, or 20 percent, of the children showed evidence of a recent pertussis infection, down from 40 percent prior to 2001.
But among those vaccinated, a shocking 18 percent still developed whooping cough, a figure that nearly matches the overall infection rate among all the children, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. According to an announcement released by the University of Oxford about the study's findings, 39 of the 215 vaccinated children still developed whooping cough even though they had received the booster shot.
"Pertussis can still be found in a fifth of school age children who present in primary care with persistent cough and can cause clinically significant cough in fully vaccinated children," admitted Dr. Wang about the findings.
Unless children keep getting booster shots forever, they will lose protection against whooping cough
Based on the way this telling study has been presented in the media, it might actually seem like an endorsement for the pertussis booster shot rather than an indictment of it. After all, the whooping cough infection rate dropped from 40 percent to 20 percent in the UK because of its use, so doesn't that mean it was a big success?
Not exactly. While the preschool pertussis booster shot appears to have helped decrease the overall infection rate among all children, the fact that the infection rate in those vaccinated matches that of the unvaccinated illustrates that the vaccine is hardly as effective as we've all been led to believe.
As demonstrated by this study, children vaccinated for pertussis will have to continually get booster shots throughout their entire lives in order to stay protected against the disease, hence the reason why the study was initiated in the first place. Unvaccinated children, on the other hand, will only have to suffer through the disease once, after which they will have permanent, lifelong immunity.
"It has been observed for ages that naturally acquired immunity from most viral diseases lasts a lifetime," wrote immunologist Dr. Tetyana Obukhanych in her book Vaccine Illusion, noting that the concept of lifelong immunity from vaccines is just an unfounded theory.
You can learn more by checking out excerpts from Dr. Obukhanych's book here: Sites.Google.com.