In a recent article by
it was reported that in the year 2000, 17 infants died from whooping
cough. This statistic was then used to bolster the argument for
infant vaccination against whooping cough.
Missing from this article, however, was an
important comparison, i.e., the number of whooping cough
vaccine-associated infant deaths.
So what do we know about such infant
DTaP/DTP-vaccine associated deaths?
I tabulated the results of all infant
vaccine-associated deaths which occurred in 1998
and were reported to VAERS as of
the end of the year 2000. Here is what I found:
There were 57 DTaP-vaccine associated infant
deaths. (Unfortunately, it is not possible to know whether it was
DTaP vaccine alone which might have been responsible, since every
single infant who died after receiving DTaP, except one, had
received 2 or more vaccines.)
FDA commissioner David
Kessler has said that it is thought 1% of serious drug reactions
are reported to the FDA. A
manufacturer testified that in their experience, a passive system
(which is what VAERS is) results in around 2%. I don’t know what
percent of actual vaccine associated adverse reactions are reported,
nor do I know whether deaths are reported as infrequently as other
adverse reactions. I do know that parents are being told by their
doctors that deaths within hours of receiving a vaccination are not
related, and are being discouraged from filing reports. Although
reporting is required, there is a great deal of
to doing so. A speech by Maureen
Forceskie is a testament to this resistance, as is the letter from
Mom. Consequently it may well be that only 1-2% of serious
adverse vaccine associated reactions are reported
The more conservative figure of 10% is widely
regarded to be the minimum percent reported to VAERS.
don't we know exactly how many adverse reactions are actually
occurring? Why aren't 100% of all possible adverse vaccine reactions
reported? Why doesn't the federal government, the
FDA, and CDC make every effort to ensure that all vaccine-associated
reactions are reported? Why don't the state governments do the
same? Isn't it incumbent upon them all to do so, given that
vaccines are recommended, even "mandated" (exemptions
are available) for school attendance?
aren't doctors reporting every possible adverse reaction? How
many of them are reassuring their patients yet refusing to report all
adverse vaccine-associated reactions? Why aren't they taking the
lead in making sure that their confidence in vaccine safety is based on
If 10% accurately reflects reporting, these 57
infants represent 570 DTaP vaccine-associated infant deaths occurring
in 1998 alone.
There were an additional 6 infant deaths after
receiving DTP vaccine. All DPT-vaccine related deaths were
These 6 infants may represent 60 additional deaths.
This means that 630 whooping cough
vaccine-associated infant deaths may have occurred in 1998 alone.
Among these deaths, 23 of those receiving DTaP
occurred by the day following vaccination. In other words, 230
infants may have died within one day of receiving whooping cough
vaccine in 1998. This is compared to 17 infant deaths as a result
of whooping cough in the year 2000.
Even without factoring in any under-reporting to
VAERS, the number of infants reported to have died by the day following
DTaP vaccination in 1998 is still more than the number who died as a
result of whooping cough in the year 2000 (i.e., 23 is more than 17).
Another 12 (10 DTaP and 2 DTP), possibly
representing 120 infants, died by the third day post vaccination, for a
possible total of 350 infant deaths by the third day following whooping
More than twice as many infants were reported to
have died in 1998 by the third day post whooping cough vaccination than
died from whooping cough in 2000 (35 vs. 17).
Granted, vaccine associated deaths are not proven
to be causally related. Such deaths should, however, be
considered a "red flag", and result in both concern and continued
investigation, neither of which are evident on the part of the
CDC. Instead, such reports are routinely dismissed as either
anecdotal or "temporally related" .
To the contrary, a temporal relationship is one of
the most compelling reasons to thoroughly explore possible causality,
not reason to summarily dismiss it.
Why does the CDC continue to claim the benefits
of whooping cough vaccine clearly outweigh the risks, when there is
evidence to the contrary?
Why is the CDC not calling for administration
of vaccines separately in order to determine which vaccines might be
responsible? Why doesn't it call for studies examining deaths
associated with vaccines administered singly or in combination,
comparing them to the death rate among the only proper control group,
Why is the CDC not calling for and funding
properly designed, independent studies of vaccine-associated infant
deaths in order to ascertain if these vaccine-associated deaths are