Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whooping Cough - and why there needs to be a regulation about testing immunity after vaccination.

All yesterday Ari kept asking me, 'Am I going to kinder now?'

He's been twice and he loves it!

So, I was kind of looking forward to him going today, if only to stem the flow of questions about when he would be going next.

At about 4pm yesterday his kinder teacher rang and informed me that one of the kids in his group has been diagnosed with Whooping Cough and because of this and the fact that Ari is not vaccinated - and therefore has no known immunity - he must be excluded for 14 days.

Actually, the Government says it should be 21 days, so I'm not sure why the kinder policy is for 14 days exclusion.

The only caveat to the exclusion period is that if he were to take the anti-biotic treatment available for Whooping Cough, then he could return to kindergarten 5 days after the commencement of the medication.

I did ask if the other kids would be required to take the antibiotics, but of course, they're vaccinated so they are not required to do so, nor will they be excluded. Even though they also have no known immunity - read on.

You see, the problem I see with this is that Whooping Cough is 80-90% effective, in the year after the final shot (three rounds leading up to six months, so presumably the year between 6 months and 18 months, though a booster is given at four years, and again at 15-17 years). After that it drops a little every year - by the fifth year it is down to 70% effective. Now most kids are given a booster at 4 years, however, many children starting four year old kinder have not yet had that booster, either because they are still three, or because they have it closer to starting school at five.

In a class of 25 'four year old kinder' children, there is a likelihood that even if all of those children are vaccinated, up to 4.5 children (so 4-5 kids in a group of 25 DTaP vaccinated kids) will not have enough immunity to prevent catching and spreading Whooping Cough.

Up to 25% of Whooping Cough cases can be asymptomatic, as the GP I saw last night pointed out to me, so it can be difficult to know who has it and who is spreading it.

The only way to truly know this is test the immunity of vaccinated children.

And then VERIFY your child's immunity - it's the smart thing to do!

Really, an annual blood test for immunity of immunisable diseases across the vaccinated masses should be regulated to have a true understanding of who is covered for what and who is not. The assumption that vaccinated children cannot catch and spread illnesses is extremely flawed.

The child who was diagnosed with Whooping Cough in Ari's group was vaccinated as far as I understand it (only two children in the four year old group are not vaccinated, Ari is one, and the kinder teacher said she had yet to call the family of the other child - so it was not the child with Whooping Cough).

I understand that doing millions of extra blood tests a year would be a costly undertaking, however, this is the health of our children we are talking about - people keep reminding me of this when they find out we don't vaccinate. I don't understand why a parent would simply assume their child is protected when the general protection rate is between 8 and 9 children out of 10 in the first year after vaccination and drops to 7 children out of 10 by the fifth year after vaccination.

As I see it. Ari will finish his course of antibiotics and go back to kinder, and another vaccinated child who was not given antibiotics because they were vaccinated could very likely develop Whooping Cough and the cycle would then start again. This seem very inefficient to me.

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Good Job!