The Wakefield effect: Whooping cough kills baby in Florida

This can pretty much directly be traced to Andrew Wakefield’s flawed study about the MMR vaccine and the disinformation for years after that made parents fear that vaccines are dangerous. This is clear proof that NOT getting vaccinated is what is truly dangerous and parents have been irresponsible.

Baby dies from whooping cough in Orange Co. | www.wftv.com.

Orange County health officials said a baby died from whooping cough last week.

This is the first whooping cough death the county has seen in decades. Officials said it’s been at least 20 years or more since someone died of the disease.

Officials said the family chose not to vaccinate their child. Some parents are choosing not to fully vaccinate their children because they worry there is a link between the vaccinations and autism.

“A lot of people may not know (that) even the person who did that study admitted that study was flawed,” Weister said.

Last year, Orange County had one case of measles and 42 cases of pertussis. This year there have already been four cases of measles and 12 cases of pertussis.

Now they’re urging parents to have their kids immunized to prevent another whooping cough death.

This commentary appeared in an Australian paper. Australians have been at the forefront of the anti-vax debate as the former “Australian Vaccination Network” (now ordered to change their name because they are clearly ANTI-vaccination) gained media credibility, spread their nonsense, and then experienced the subsequent discrediting. We need this message in the states:

Parents have a moral obligation to children.

People who are not vaccinated are at risk of getting the disease. The reason most unvaccinated people do not get measles is due to responsible parents getting their children vaccinated and building a wall of protection around their community.

These viral diseases require a certain percentage of the population to be unvaccinated in order to run riot. As vaccination rates fall, the chances of an epidemic increase. When one breaks out, people die, as in Britain. Yes, people die from measles, which is why we vaccinate against it.

We have a moral responsibility for the health of our children and this has to dominate any other belief systems we hold. Even worse, by not vaccinating children, we are putting other people’s children at risk, as well as our own. If another child dies of measles, or whooping cough, or meningitis, and was infected by our own, non-vaccinated child, are we partly responsible?

GET THE POINT, parents. Not vaccinating? Then why buckle up your child in car seat, why keep an eye on the family dog when its with the child, why allow them to play on the playground. Being a responsible caregiver means you listen to the evidence that says your child may be harmed and this prevention is safe and worth it.

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  6 comments for “The Wakefield effect: Whooping cough kills baby in Florida

  1. Graham
    April 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    It’s also the fault of the lawyers who hired Wakefield to help them turn vaccines into the next silicone breast implants, I’ve never seen them named and shamed, even though they are equally guilty.

  2. Chris
    April 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Graham, the main lawyer was Richard Barr. He has been named, and shamed. More recently for being associated with homeopathy:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/08/society-of-homeopaths-director-richard-barr-libel/

    Barr figures prominently in Dr. Offit’s book Autism’s False Prophets.

  3. April 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    For one think, newborn babies aren’t allowed to get the pertussis vaccine–it could kill them. For another thing, the pertussis vaccine is losing its effectiveness, if it ever had it. About half of pertussis cases are in vaccinated children. So this baby could have died even if 100% of the parents in Orange County submitted to mandatory vaccination.

    • April 30, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      @White Man

      The parents said they deliberately avoided vaccines. That’s the “wakefield effect” to deter all vaccines for unwarranted reasons. Getting the vaccine is still better than not getting it at all since nothing is 100% effective so your arguments are moot.

    • December 22, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      The pertussis vaccine is effective, and what you have heard about waning efficacy is that over years the efficacy of the vaccine wanes and a person needs a booster. Newborns can not be vaccinated, which is why it is VERY important that caregivers and people who will be in close contact with the newborns are vaccinated. In the case of this unfortunate Orange county baby, I believe there were unvaccinated siblings who had been ill. Had these siblings been vaccinated, this death may have been prevented. Yep the vaccine isn’t 100% effective all the time, but most things aren’t and these are the best protection we have.

  4. JonK
    April 30, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Calling Andrew Wakefield’s discredited study merely “flawed” is too kind, but the greatest villains in this long-running tragedy are the journalists–many of whom write for some of our best newspapers, networks, and magazines–yet repeatedly put the drama of an inflammatory story ahead of ethical journalistic practices. This is detailed in Seth Mnookin’s excellent 2012 book, “The Panic Virus”. I worked as a journalist in a past life, but cannot defend those writers who ignored facts and the overwhelming consensus of medical researchers while frightening parents into refusing to vaccinate their children, leaving not only those children but their companions open to debilitating disease and sometimes death. If there was an anti-Pulitzer prize, those writers would be at the top of my list.

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