Home > Parent Perspective, Preventable Diseases > I’m a Pediatrician and I Gave My Daughter Pertussis

I’m a Pediatrician and I Gave My Daughter Pertussis

By, Rebecca Bakke MD, FAAP

As a pediatrician, I am often asked the question, “What would you do if she was your child?”

I B (32)always try to answer this question as honestly as I can.  Sometimes, when the answer is not very straightforward, l can say sincerely, “I don’t know. “ Other times, such as when parents have concerns about immunizations, the answer is easy.

Vaccination is one of the most polarizing issues in our country, and because I immunize infants and children every single day at work, the controversy frequently makes its way into my office. Anxious first-time parents cradle their newborn babies while nervously reviewing the vaccine schedule, then look up at me and ask what I think about delaying vaccines, trying an alternate vaccine schedule or forgoing them all together.

What would you do if she was your child?” 

Parents are not usually surprised when I say that I vaccinate all three of my children according to the recommended CDC schedule. They expect that as a pediatrician, I have seen the horrors of vaccine-preventable disease and believe in the ability of vaccines to prevent these now rare illnesses.  This is, of course, true. They are usually quite surprised, however, when I tell them that my most significant experience with vaccine preventable disease happened not while I was working as a doctor, but as a first-time parent.

IMG_2769My first pregnancy was gloriously uneventful, and I was full of the joyous anticipation and occasional irrational terror that most first-time mothers share.  I followed all the rules. I took my prenatal vitamins, avoided sushi, cut back on caffeine and made a special effort to get adequate sleep and exercise. I spent hours online reading reviews on strollers, car seats and cribs. I was pregnant during the 2009-2010 H1N1 (“swine flu”) epidemic, and I was terrified of the toll the disease could take on my unborn baby and me.  I even cared for babies in the NICU who were born far too early because their mothers became critically ill from influenza while pregnant. I spent months wearing a mask at work, and I stood in line at the Department of Health to get the H1N1 vaccine just one day before it was available from Employee Health at my hospital.

IMG_3039Claire Noelle was born on a snowy January morning, and I remember being overwhelmed by the instantaneous love and devotion I felt for this tiny baby I had only just met. We took her home the next day, and like most new parents, spent the first several weeks of her life gazing at her and relishing in every sweet newborn expression, sigh and sneeze.

When Claire was 5 weeks old and just starting to smile, she started coughing. Initially, it was only after I nursed her, and I thought it was reflux. But when the coughing worsened, I panicked.  I reflected on the fact that I was recovering from a mild cold when Claire was born, and had been coughing ever since.  My cough was nothing remarkable, but Claire’s cough was starting to sound an awful lot like pertussis (whooping cough).  We took her to the pediatrician. The next day he called and confirmed my fear: Claire had pertussis.

The next three weeks were the darkest of my life. Antibiotic treatment for pertussis prevents the spread of the disease, but after the coughing starts no medication can alter the disease course. If you have ever seen a child with pertussis you know why it is called whooping cough. Infants and children have such long coughing spells that they cough until their lungs are completely out of breath, then they inhale desperately (“whoop”) before the coughing fits start again.

Claire would cough cough cough cough cough and whoop, cough cough cough cough cough and whoop for an hour straight several times per day. 

She coughed until her lips turned blue. 

She coughed until she vomited so many times that she lost weight. 

The coughing completely and violently took over her precious 9 pound body. 

Infants with pertussis, especially infants as young as Claire was, are at high risk for complications.  

The coughing fits can lead to bleeding in the brain.

They can get pneumonia.

They can have periods of apnea, where they stop breathing.

Many end up on a ventilator.

One to two percent of infants with pertussis die.

I knew these things, and I was terrified. But nobody could stop the coughing.

IMG_0058Claire was fortunate. We were fortunate. She recovered without any complications. But dozens of infants born in 2010, including at least one infant in our community, died of whooping cough. Many of these babies were too young to be vaccinated. So was Claire.

But I was not. While I was pregnant, I spent a whole lot of time researching strollers, but failed to take any time to get a vaccine that could have prevented my baby from getting a life threatening illness. And I am a pediatrician. I, of all people, should have known better.  Because of this, it is now part of my mission to make sure that the families that I take care of do know better.

Today, all expectant women should be vaccinated with Tdap during every pregnancy, preferably in the third trimester (between the 27th and 36th week). By getting vaccinated during pregnancy, mothers build antibodies that are transferred to the newborn, providing protection against pertussis before the baby can get their first dose of DTaP vaccine at 2 months old. Tdap vaccine also protects mothers during delivery, which makes them less likely to transmit pertussis to their babies. This recommendation is not only supported by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, but also by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What would I do if she was my child?

I would vaccinate.

For more information, visit these special CDC webpages dedicated to whooping cough information for pregnant women and healthcare providers here.
About the author:  Rebecca Bakke MD, FAAP is a pediatrician at Sanford Health and a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. She lives in Fargo, ND with her husband and three young children.
  1. reissd
    March 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    How heartrending. I can’t imagine how frightened you were. I am so glad Claire recovered with no harm, and I really hope other parents listen and avoid the position.

    Like

  2. March 26, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Reblogged this on The Polk County Immunization Coalition and commented:
    What an excellent article!!

    Like

  3. March 26, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Wow – I didn’t know this. I had pertussis as a child and it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I’m so glad my kids never caught it and hopefully never will now as they are both vaccinated. I will remember your advice in the advent of a 3rd baby though. I’m glad your little girl is ok. My eldest was born in December 2009 so I’m guessing they are the same age 🙂

    Like

  4. March 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    You said you have seen the “horrors of vaccine preventable disease”….Where did you see these people?

    Like

  5. Chris
    March 26, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    For me, I saw my own kids suffer from some diseases before the vaccine was available.

    Now the author stated: “They expect that as a pediatrician, I have seen the horrors of vaccine-preventable disease and believe in the ability of vaccines to prevent these now rare illnesses. This is, of course, true.”

    One can assume she saw them in her practice and in the hospital. At least a few doctors, including interns/residents, saw my son when he was taken by ambulance after suffering seizures from a now vaccine preventable disease.

    Why would you think a pediatrician would not have seen or treated sick kids?

    Like

  6. March 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    What diseases did you kids suffer from before the vaccine was available? As for the author, what diseases do you think she saw? I am not referring to sick kids, I am referring to diseases that vaccines have eliminated.

    Like

  7. Chris
    March 26, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Did you even read the article? Clarify by telling us what her baby got at five weeks?

    “I am referring to diseases that vaccines have eliminated.”

    What diseases other than smallpox have been eliminated?

    Like

  8. Chris
    March 26, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Also, the author said she worked with babies in the NICU, tell us the reason she gave for them being there.

    Like

  9. March 26, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    You wrote that your kids suffered from disease(s) before vaccines were available. All I asked is, what disease(s). You cannot answer, can you?
    I will rephrase my question pertaining to the good pediatrician. What (horrific) diseases do you think she had experience with that vaccines have had such a dramatic affect on reducing the incidence?
    I would love to address the pediatrician directly here.

    Like

  10. Chris
    March 26, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    First prove you read the article.

    Like

  11. Alan
    March 26, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Excellent article and a perfect, straightforward example of why immunizations are critical for the full community’s health. They help you, your children, your neighbors, and people you don’t know. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  12. Chris
    March 26, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    By the way, Mr Stewart, I’m signing off for the evening. So you have until tomorrow to actually read the article and answer those questions.

    Like

  13. March 26, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Sign off Chris. You are disingenuous. Anyone with a critical mind can see that you have not answered a very simple question, and that you have treated my simple question not addressed to you, with hostility.

    Like

  14. Rebecca K Bakke
    March 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Mike Stewart, since I started residency in 2007, I have taken care of children hospitalized with pertussis, influenza, rotavirus, varicella and pneumococcal meningitis. Some cases were fatal. All of these diseases are vaccine preventable. Hope this helps. Cheers.

    Like

  15. Brennan
    March 27, 2015 at 1:25 am

    Wonderful article, Rebecca! Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s sad when internet trolls try to goad you into an argument on efficacy of vaccines. That’s, like, so early 2000s (read it in your best “Valley girl” accent”).

    Like

  16. Beth
    March 27, 2015 at 3:09 am

    Can a mother be vaccinated to prevent other diseases?

    Like

  17. March 27, 2015 at 5:13 am

    Excellent article!

    Like

  18. Christine Vara
    March 27, 2015 at 10:40 am

    @Beth In addition to a Tdap vaccine, an expectant women is also recommended to receive an influenza vaccine.

    Here is a link to another Shot of Prevention blog post that explains more: https://shotofprevention.com/2014/08/06/protecting-your-baby-from-disease-begins-in-pregnancy/

    Also, if you are not sure if you are up-to-date on your own adult vaccines, it is recommended you talk to your doctor. There are other vaccines that are important to consider that may be administered before conception or after delivery (such as the MMR). The CDC offers more information here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/pregnant.html

    Like

  19. Christine Vara
    March 27, 2015 at 10:50 am

    @Dr. Bakke, thank you for responding to Mr. Stewart. However, Mr. Stewart, I feel compelled to point out that even though vaccines are preventable, it doesn’t mean they are eliminated. Unfortunately, even though vaccines help prevent many diseases, not everyone gets vaccinated. Additionally, it is readily admitted that vaccination does not guarantee immunity. While no vaccine is guaranteed to be 100% effective, this previous blog post explains why they are still extremely valuable to us as a society. https://shotofprevention.com/2012/03/02/theres-value-in-vaccines-even-when-not-100-effective/

    Like

  20. Chris
    March 27, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Personally, I was shocked that Mr. Stewart was asking questions that were answered in Dr. Bakke’s prose. I was not going to engage in him anymore until he proved to have read the parts that pertained to his questioning.

    Like

  21. Julie
    March 27, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    As a nurse, I have cared for children with Pertussis and one child with polio. He was a refugee from Afghanistan who is very bright but confined to a wheelchair. I also know a few older people who survived polio from their childhoods, before the vaccines were available, and now endure post-polio syndrome. There are lots of examples out there; we in the U.S. take for granted a world where a lot of these diseases are things of the past. But I just read that in west Africa, they are very scared now of a measles outbreak in the wake of Ebola, and are planning an immunization campaign.

    Like

  22. Paul
    March 27, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Excellent article! Needs to be spread on more social media. Thanks Dr. Bakke!

    Like

  23. March 27, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I feel compelled to respond, only because of the amusing nature of the comments. Chris seems to think that I asked questions that were answered in the article, yet repeatedly failed to answer my simple question. No one but me has challenged him on that.
    Group think is good in sales, and I am picking up on it.
    Brennan assumes I am an “internet troll” for asking a question. What kind of troll am I if I ask my doctor the very same question?
    Then we have Christine Vara telling me “vaccines are preventable”. I know what you meant, perhaps you can understand my words that follow.
    Vaccines, when introduced, have almost always, if not always, been introduced when a disease had already been in serious decline. If you look at charts of disease incidences and per capita disease rates, you would be hard pressed to be able to guess when the vaccine was introduced. In fact, I could challenge any of you to do so, but frankly, you bore me.
    You likely believe Polio was eliminated by vaccines. I would love if Rebecca Bakke would comment on this, for if Dr. Bakke believes this is the case, I have some questions.
    For the record, I am 58 and I don’t do vaccines or flu shots. I can always tell when the “flu season” comes around and the shots are going around. A week later, everyone (but me and mine) are sick.
    Cheers.

    Like

  24. Christine Vara
    March 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    @Mike; thanks for the edit 🙂 Yes, I meant that some diseases are preventable, and it appears that you understand what I meant, as you indicated. However, I suspect you also understood what was stated in the blog post. However, instead of simply making the statement you wished to make (which you finally did after 4 previous comments) you seemed to want to bait someone into a conversation so that you could do exactly what you just finally did…claim that vaccines have not been responsible for the decline in disease. That is why some may consider you a troll. Frankly, I believe you are mistaken. But I also recognize that you do not intend to entertain the fact that you are wrong. You say you have questions, but it seems you really just want to say stir up controversy, which is a bore to me. So, Cheers!

    Like

  25. March 27, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Christine, I have entertained facts all of my life. I could bring solid references from medical doctors that essentially refute everything presented here. Trolling is much different than engaging in debate, something that you and the doctor should be encouraging. But, you are not. You are suggesting that there is no debate. You are making statements about vaccines preventing disease, yet you do not point out that vaccines can and do cause harm, that is why billions of dollars have been paid for vaccine injury.
    The fact is, you are doing harm while pretending to help people. That, to me, is inexcusable.

    Like

  26. Christine Vara
    March 27, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Mike, there is certainly plenty of opportunity for debate on this forum. One only has to peruse the comment section of various posts to find that. But apparently we bore you, so I’m not really sure why you continue to comment. I have never denied that vaccines can and do cause harm. So do the diseases that we vaccinate for. However, discouraging people from life-saving vaccines because in extremely rare cases they may cause injury is also inexcusable, in my opinion.

    Like

  27. Sara B
    March 27, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    I
    Reading this post brought so many tears to my eyes. I am in the healthcare field myself. A pediatric trauma nurse. I was so excited when my daughter Lainey was born, my second child. Everything was perfect and we were all settling in when she too began with spitting up every time I nursed her. We started reflux meds but it turned in to choking episodes where she would get dusky at 5 weeks old. Then we had vomiting with her episodes. So we went to Children’s hospital and were admitted for her spells. The next day we also got the horrible news…
    She had PERTUSSIS!
    For weeks we coughed, turned blue, and struggled every day. She had severe episodes of apnea, bradycardia, and hypoxia.
    And she too would cough, cough, cough, cough, cough and whoop. Then repeat the cycle for what seemed like hours. My poor baby was loosing weight, she couldn’t eat, couldn’t breathe, and the worst part…there wasn’t a single thing we could do.
    She had every test they could think of. All they said was “its just really bad pertussis. We don’t know why, but its bad”.
    So I waited and I prayed. 3 admissions, 31 inpatient days, 6 weeks, and I finally got to bring her home.
    I am graduating soon as a FNP and I too can not stress enough how important vaccines are. Protect the babies. Protect our future. Vaccinate because its the best choice you can make for your unborn child!
    I am proud to say that my sweet Lainey is getting ready to turn 3 in just a few weeks. She’s a strong cookie, but her coughing has never stopped. She’s my special angel, my pertussis baby!

    Like

  28. Chris
    March 28, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Mr. Stewart: “Vaccines, when introduced, have almost always, if not always, been introduced when a disease had already been in serious decline. If you look at charts of disease incidences and per capita disease rates, you would be hard pressed to be able to guess when the vaccine was introduced.”

    Funny, I have never seen those charts showing disease incidence going down before the disease. Folks who make that claim only show mortality charts, which only prove improvements in medical care that kept sick kids alive.

    There was certainly no reduction in chicken pox in 1994 when it in swept through my boys’ schools. Half of my oldest’s kindergarten class was out with chicken pox for a time. One child in the school ended up in the hospital with a real possibility of losing a limb due a secondary bacterial infection. Plus my six month old baby got it. Do know how hard it is for a baby who is covered in dozens of itchy open wounds (pox) to sleep?

    Mr. Stewart, provide PubMed indexed charts showing chicken pox went down before 1995.

    Like

  29. Chris
    March 28, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Argh… it is supposed to say “…going down before the vaccine

    Like

  30. Lawrence
    March 28, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    @Mr. Stewart – here is some very good information that shows worldwide, how vaccines have impacted the incidence rates of VPDs…..

    http://www.gideononline.com/tag/measles/

    Like

  31. Chris
    March 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Also, Mr. Stewart, you are not the first who tried to convince us that measles incidence went down before vaccines. You should read this crazy explanation of why the numbers say something else.

    Like

  32. Lawrence
    March 28, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    @Chris – I really wish you hadn’t reminded me of that guy……

    Like

  33. novalox
    March 28, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    @Chris

    Ah yes, that poster. Fascinating to see such outright racism and hatred in such an individual.

    Like

  34. lilady
    March 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I want to know how a seasonal influenza vaccine causes the actual disease, when the trivalent and quadrivalent shots only contain killed viruses.

    Mike Stewart claims (he) “could bring solid references from medical doctors that essentially refute everything presented here.”

    Where are those so-called solid references, Mike? Please provide links to those references.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Polio has been eliminated in most countries, but it has not been eradicated.

    Like

  35. jgc56
    March 30, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Mike, consider the figures for incidence of measles in the US:

    From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
    Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
    1912 . . . 310.0
    1920 . . . 480.5
    1925 . . . 194.3
    1930 . . . 340.8
    1935 . . . 584.6
    1940 . . . 220.7
    1945 . . . 110.2
    1950 . . . 210.1
    1955 . . . 337.9
    1960 . . . 245.4
    1965 . . . 135.1
    1970 . . . . 23.2
    1975 . . . . 11.3
    1980 . . . . . 5.9
    1985 . . . . . 1.2
    1990 . . . . .11.2
    1991 . . . . . .3.8
    1992 . . . . . .0.9
    1993 . . . . . .0.1
    1994 . . . . . .0.4
    1995 . . . . . .0.1
    1996 . . . . . .0.2
    1997 . . . . . . 0.1

    Given that we observe a greater than 99% decrease in the incidence of the disease between 1960 and 1995, it really that hard to determine during which 5 year period the MMR vaccine was introduced?

    Like

  36. jgc56
    March 30, 2015 at 10:31 am

    “You are making statements about vaccines preventing disease, yet you do not point out that vaccines can and do cause harm, that is why billions of dollars have been paid for vaccine injury.”

    No one is disputing the fact that there are adverse consequences associated with vaccines, Mike, only noting accurately that they are well understood: those that are common (e.g., soreness at the site of injection, low grade fever) being both minor and transient and those that are serious (e.g., encephalopathy) being all but vanishingly rare> Any rational evalutaion fo relative risk finds the risk associated with routine childhood vaccination to be far, far less than the risk associated with remaining vulnerable to the infectious diseases they protect against.

    Consider encephalopathy, for example, one of the rare serious adverse events assoicated with vaccination that is included on the NVICP list of table injuries for which compesnation is awarded. The MMR vaccine is known to cause encephalopathy with an incidence of about one case for every one million vaccine doses administered.

    Measles, on the other hand, causes encephalopathy with an incidence of one in every one thousand infections. That’s three orders of magnitude greater risk of encephalopathy associated with measles infections than with the vaccine that prevents infections.

    Clearly if you’re interested in minimizing the risk your child will suffer this ‘injury’ you want to ensure they receive both recommended MMR vacinations according to the CDC’s recommended schedule.

    Like

  37. Mike
    March 30, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    Antibiotics won’t help pertussis once the coughing has started, but high-dose intravenous vitamin C will treat it effectively in even the youngest infant. Google Suzanne Humphries article on treating pertussis, with recommended doses of vitamin C.

    Like

  38. March 30, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Nope, please seek treatment options from legitimate sources, not homeopathic quacks:

    http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/clinical/treatment.html

    Like

  39. Lawrence
    March 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    And no one should be taking medical advice from this woman:

    http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2013/11/783-suzanne-humphries.html

    Like

  40. Angela
    April 1, 2015 at 8:38 am

    So doctors are recommending to their pregnant patients to receive the flu shot and the dTap during their pregnancy, but the package inserts from the vaccine manufacturers states that they have not been tested for safety in pregnant women. Sadly, there have been many accounts where women who have received these vaccines have lost their babies.

    Like

  41. Lawrence
    April 1, 2015 at 9:09 am

    @Angela – a large percentage of pregnancies will naturally end in miscarriages (http://babyandbump.momtastic.com/pregnancy-first-trimester/298362-miscarriage-statistics.html).

    New research has shown that these vaccines are safe for use by pregnant women:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/pregnant.html

    I’m surprised at how out of touch anti-vaxers are with the current status of research….

    Like

  42. Lawrence
    April 1, 2015 at 9:10 am

    And here is the notice, directly from the CDC to providers:

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/professionals/providers-letter-pregnant-2014.pdf

    Like

  43. ThomasPaine
    April 1, 2015 at 10:18 am

    10 years ago every doctor out there said NEVER take any vaccines when pregnant. The inserts say “it is not known what the effect is on the fetus”. I just looked up the dtap insert and it says it clear as day.

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  44. ThomasPaine
    April 1, 2015 at 10:24 am

    The same time Thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines they introduced the flu vaccine into the pediatric schedule and scared pregnant mothers into taking it.

    I have never known anyone personally to die from measles, whooping couch, or flu but I have known plenty with cancer, pediatric cancer is off the charts, mental and neurological disorders….autism, adhd. Our children are the sickest generation we have seen yet. just walk into any school and you see children in wheelchairs drueling and wearing diapers. Kids are hopped up on adhd meds and SSRI’s. The medical fraud that has been happening for the last decade has finally caught up to the American people.

    Like

  45. Lawrence
    April 1, 2015 at 11:10 am

    @TP – please stick with one name, the sock-puppetry is boring and annoying.

    No pediatric vaccine contains Thimerosal, not even the pediatric flu vaccines.

    And please keep up with current research – quoting information that is badly out of date does nothing for your argument.

    Like

  46. ThomasPaine
    April 1, 2015 at 11:20 am

    So you admit Thimerosal is not safe for children yet a pregnant women should shoot herself up with it?

    Like

  47. ThomasPaine
    April 1, 2015 at 11:25 am

    And yes. all flu vaccines except nasal have thimerosal. And yes they say untested in pregnant women. And yes it can be transferred in breast milk. Mercury in any form is bad for you…period.

    Like

  48. Lawrence
    April 1, 2015 at 11:28 am

    @TP – the safety studies are in:

    https://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

    And just stop making incorrect statements, it just makes you look bad.

    More than 75% of available flu vaccines (minus the pediatric ones, which are all thimerosal-free) don’t contain any thimerosal…..and the ones recommended for pregnant women don’t have it either.

    Why are you wasting your time complaining about an issue that doesn’t exist?

    Like

  49. Lawrence
    April 1, 2015 at 11:40 am

    @TP – guess which other vaccine doesn’t contain Thimerosal either:

    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/UCM096228#t3

    Like

  50. jgc56
    April 1, 2015 at 11:43 am

    “I have never known anyone personally to die from measles, whooping couch, or flu but I have known plenty with cancer, pediatric cancer is off the charts, mental and neurological disorders….autism, adhd.”
    Unless you have evidence demonstrating causal association between routine childhood vaccination and cancer, pediatric cancer, mental and nuerologic disorders, etc., one must ask: what’s your point?

    “Our children are the sickest generation we have seen yet.”
    Citations needed.

    “ just walk into any school and you see children in wheelchairs drueling and wearing diapers.”
    Demonstrably false, given that I walk into my three-year-old’s school a couple of times a week on average and I’m not seeing this. But assuming thise were true, in the absence of evidence demonstrating that routine vaccination was causally associated with their disabilities, one must again ask: what’s your point?

    “Kids are hopped up on adhd meds and SSRI’s”
    And your evidence that routine childhood vaccination is causally associated with ADHD would be…what exactly, Thomas?

    Oh, wait—that’s right. You don’t have any.

    Like

  51. jgc56
    April 1, 2015 at 11:53 am

    “So you admit Thimerosal is not safe for children yet a pregnant women should shoot herself up with it?”

    At what level of exposure, Thomas? recall that the fundamental principle of toxicology is “The dose makes the poison”. Certainly at the level of exposure achievable as a result of rotuine vaccination thimerosal has never been seen to be harmful to children or to pregnant women.

    When used as a preservative in multi-dose vaccine vials thimerosal is present at a concentration of 5 uM (25 ug in a 0.5 mL dose volume), which will be diluted by the entire blood volume of the recipient. The maximum exposure to thimerosal would occur in a newborn, which would possess the smallest total blood volume (typically 85 mL/kg bodyweight).

    An 8 pound newborn would have a blood volume of about 300 mL, so we’d be looking at an approximately 600-fold dilution to a final circulating concentration of 8.3 nM—far, far lower than the exposure level at which any toxic effects have ever been observed in whole organisms. In fact, it’s more than 1500 times lower than the level at which effects are seen in isolated cells grown in culture.

    Like

  52. Lawrence
    April 1, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    And let’s not forget – pediatric vaccines haven’t had it at all in over a decade….

    Like

  53. jgc56
    April 1, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    “but the package inserts from the vaccine manufacturers states that they have not been tested for safety in pregnant women. ”

    Angela, the package insert indicates the manufacturer did not conduct clinical trials assessing safety in pregnant women prior to filing for approval, not that others do not–and guess what? Others do.

    See, for example, “Influenza Vaccination in Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review”, PMCID: PMC4045453:

    Like

  54. ThomasPaine
    April 1, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Acute or chronic mercury exposure can cause adverse effects during any period of development. Mercury is a highly toxic element; there is no known safe level of exposure. Ideally, neither children nor adults should have any mercury in their bodies because it provides no physiological benefit. Prenatal and postnatal mercury exposures occur frequently in many different ways. Pediatricians, nurses, and other health care providers should understand the scope of mercury exposures and health problems among children and be prepared to handle mercury exposures in medical practice. Prevention is the key to reducing mercury poisoning. Mercury exists in different chemical forms: elemental (or metallic), inorganic, and organic (methylmercury and ethyl mercury). Mercury exposure can cause acute and chronic intoxication at low levels of exposure. Mercury is neuro-, nephro-, and immunotoxic. The development of the child in utero and early in life is at particular risk. Mercury is ubiquitous and persistent. Mercury is a global pollutant, bio-accumulating, mainly through the aquatic food chain, resulting in a serious health hazard for children. This article provides an extensive review of mercury exposure and children’s health.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096006/

    You people are out of your mind!

    Like

  55. Lawrence
    April 1, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    And you haven’t read a single thing we posted – somebody is crazy here & it isn’t us.

    Like

  56. Chris
    April 1, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    That article is mostly on environment exposure, it is a classic case of cherry picking.

    By the way, Mr. Paine, which vaccine on the American pediatric schedule is only available with thimerosal. As noted before, at least four of the approved for children influenza vaccines do not have thimerosal.

    Like

  57. ThomasPaine
    April 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    aren’t vaccines part of our environment? Well not mine….I don’t get them and somehow survived….imagine that.

    Thimerosal was in the flu shot that was offered to me this year at work. I have the insert. I show the insert to my coworkers too. Especially the pregnant ones.

    Like

  58. jgc56
    April 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Thomas, the article you cited provides no evidence that at exposure levels achievable by routine vaccination thimerosal, or its metabolite ethyl mercury, is toxic.

    There are, in addition, studies demonstrating that ethyl mercury does not accumulate and that it’s toxicology profile is significantly different than that of elemental or methyl mercury (e.g., PMID:16079072, PMID:12480426) and that at exposure levels achievable by routine vaccines thimerosal does not result in toxic effects. (e.g., PMID:11331700; PMID:15146581; PMID:15583887)

    Care to try again, with a relevant citation this time? Something that, rather than showing that in some forms at some exposure levels mercury may be toxic, shows that thimerosal in exposure levels acheivable by routne vaccination is toxic?

    Like

  59. jgc56
    April 1, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    ‘Thimerosal was in the flu shot that was offered to me this year at work.”

    Which would only be a concern if there were evidence demonstrating that thimerosal, at the exposure level you’d receive as a consequence of being given that flu shot, was toxic or otherwise harmful.

    So…got any?

    Like

  60. Chris
    April 1, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Mr. Paine: “Thimerosal was in the flu shot that was offered to me this year at work.”

    You are not a child, or are we assuming too much? Do you expect to suddenly become autistic? It really doesn’t work that way, it is something you are born with.

    Like

  61. Mike
    April 2, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Lawrence,
    Vitamin C treatment is not a homeopathic one, although both these types of treatment are very effective. I thought you would have known that.

    Like

  62. Lawrence
    April 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    @Mike – sorry, I don’t take medical advice from a person that doesn’t understand Avogadro’s Number…..

    Like

  63. everychildbytwo
    April 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    For anyone interested…the CDC has a list of studies conducted on the safety of the Tdap vaccine in pregnant women and Tdap vaccination of pregnant women to protect babies from pertussis. http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/pregnant/research.html
    -Every Child By Two

    Like

  64. jgc56
    April 2, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    “Vitamin C treatment is not a homeopathic one, although both these types of treatment are very effective.”

    Mike, please provide citations to appropriately blinded and controlled trials, published in first or second tier peer-reviewed journals, demonstrating

    1) high dose vitamin C is an effective (let alone very effective) treatment for pertussis infections

    and

    2) homeopathy is more effective than placebo controls as a treatment for non-self-limiting injuries or illnesses.

    Like

  65. April 18, 2015 at 7:00 am

    The Australian government has drawn a line in the sand with a mandatory No Jab No Pay policy, removing exceptions for conscientious objection: http://thunkd.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/the-unwelcome-burden-of-community-spirit.html

    Like

  66. Lawrence
    April 18, 2015 at 7:18 am

    About time – glad to see Australia stepping up to the plate to protect individual and public health.

    Like

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