April 9, 2012

Surely Crunchy Vacctivists Will Infect Us All

If the inadequate vaccination schedules don't, that is. And really, it's mostly the tiniest kids who can't get vaccinated yet who need the herd immunity in the first place.

Discover Magazine's Bad Astronomy blog points to a local Fox News report that Denver doctors are declaring a pertussis outbreak in Boulder, with 37 cases reported so far this year.

This is where you'd normally freak out about crunchy vacctivists, which, yes.

But there's also the possibility that the damage to herd immunity caused by unvaccinated kids is exacerbated by a drop in protection from the whooping cough vaccination schedule itself.

Last fall, at an immunology conference in Chicago, researchers from California's Kaiser Permanente Medical Center presented analysis of that state's pertussis outbreak, which started in 2010. They found a spike in cases in 10-12yos who had received the vaccine on schedule [there are boosters at 8 and 12], suggesting that the vaccine might not protect as long as it was originally designed to. Or that in situations where vaccination rates are compromised, the regular vaccine schedule doesn't offer enough protection. And so earlier boosters may be necessary.

Which, conveniently reinforces the beliefs of both crazy, disinfo-happy vacctivists and conscientious sheeple. Don't call me Shirley.

Whooping cough outbreak in Boulder [bad astronomy via dt reader jjdadd-o]
Boulder has whooping cough outbreak [kdvr]
Did Poor Vaccine Response Contribute to California's Pertussis Outbreak? [wired]

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