Guess What? Vaccination Works

Although, now that California has eliminated deaths due to pertussis and reduced the incidence of disease by around seventy percent, anti-vaxxers undoubtedly will claim we now longer need to vaccinate (boldface mine):

Facing an epidemic of whooping cough that led to the deaths of 10 infants in 2010, California public health officials launched a massive vaccination effort and public awareness campaign about the disease.

And on Tuesday, they announced the payoff: no deaths in 2011, a first in two decades. The number of whooping cough, or pertussis, cases also plummeted from about 9,154 in 2010 to 2,795 in 2011, according to the California Department of Public Health.

In Los Angeles County, the number of cases dropped from 1,395 in 2010 to 520 in 2011. Four of the deaths in the state occurred locally….

Infants are the most vulnerable because they are not fully vaccinated until they are 6 months old.
As a result, public health officials urged pediatricians to watch out for the disease and to get babies treated immediately after a diagnosis to improve their chances of survival…

Babies often get pertussis from parents and others who have been misdiagnosed as having asthma or bronchitis, Cherry said. So in their vaccination efforts, state and local health departments focused on vaccinating people who were around infants, including pregnant and postpartum mothers, grandparents and older siblings.

The state also passed a law in 2010 requiring the immunization of students entering grades 7 to 12. Most children are vaccinated for pertussis, but it wanes after about five years. The vaccine is included in the DTaP inoculation, which also protects against tetanus and diphtheria.

Well done, California.

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