Vermont Declares Whooping Cough Epidemic
Urges adults to get vaccinated
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Dec 14, 2012 2:49 PM CST
A student gets a Tdap shot, which inoculates against whooping cough among other things, in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – Vermont is officially in the midst of a whooping cough epidemic, the state's department of health has declared, urging everyone age 19 and older to get vaccinated. As of the end of last week there had been 522 reported cases of the disease, formally known as pertussis, the Burlington Free Press reports, and while about 90% of children in the state have been vaccinated, only about 10% of adults can say the same, since the adult booster has only been available since 2006.

Free clinics to correct that oversight will be set up at regional health offices to help adults get the shot. Of course, most of the infections so far have been in already-vaccinated children, with the greatest number of infections occurring in 10- to 14-year-olds, so the vaccine's protection is hardly impregnable. The CDC estimates that Tdap, the adult version of the vaccine, protects only about seven of 10 people who receive it.

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Showing 3 of 3 comments
fractal
Dec 17, 2012 2:33 PM CST
Unlike most of my friends, I like the concept behind vaccinations, though they are not always produced correctly. I dare-say, if we get a real killer of a virus coming around, those people who are now anti-vaccine would be lining up to get their kids inoculated.
DragonMama
Dec 15, 2012 12:40 AM CST
So, most of the infections are in a population that is 90% vaccinated. And the solution is......vaccinate adults. Anyone see any logic problems with this? The vaccine is great at reducing severity of symptoms in the recipient. It is terrible at preventing the spread of the disease. It simply isn't effective enough to achieve herd immunity. When are we going to start talking about the *other* tools we have to control pertussis? Most important: keep coughs, all coughs, away from babies. The only ones at risk of dying from pertussis are babies under six months of age. Highest risk is babies under 2 months of age, who cannot be vaccinated. The pertussis vaccine cannot save infant lives, but a change in behavior can. Second most important: Test any cough that lingers more than two weeks. If you are in close contact with an infant under six months of age or a pregnant woman in her third trimester, test any cough that lingers more than a week. Third: If you test positive for pertussis, immediately inform all your contacts.
Scott60561
Dec 14, 2012 7:11 PM CST
What utter crap....everyone knows vaccines are dangerous and cause more damage than good. Can't believe that the media is once again being duped into falling for this crap that vaccines are beneficial. Jenny McCarthy says that vaccines cause autism and thats enough for me to know I will never get another vaccine again. (yes, its sarcasm)