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Whooping Cough Outbreak in Elk Grove Indicates Ineffectiveness of Vaccine

Elk Grove in Sacramento County, California, is witnessing a high number of whooping cough cases in spite of the fact that the city has high rate of immunization.

Judy Lawrence, Daily Science Journal, Feb 9, 2015

A major issue has gained prominence owing to this epidemic which is limitations of vaccine. In the entire Sacramento County, Elk Grove has recorded much higher rate of whooping cough infection than any other region. Kate McAuley, program coordinator of communicable disease and immunization at the Sacramento County Public Health Department stated “Children who were vaccinated did not receive the protection desired.”

Experts have revealed that it was late 1990s when the whooping cough vaccine was introduced. The new vaccine uses only parts of bacteria, which causes whooping cough and not the whole dead bacteria. In 2014, about 11,000 Californians got infected with whooping cough and a measles outbreak also affected the state and this raised concerns about the vaccine. Although it seems that the parents of unvaccinated vaccines are blameworthy in this case, experts opine that it is not the only reason behind this scenario.

Mark Sawyer, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, and a member of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization practices committee said “It’s not correct to only pin (the pertussis outbreak) on the people who are unvaccinated. The effectiveness of the vaccine is a huge part of this. People who are immunized do still get pertussis.” However, Sawyer also added “People shouldn’t avoid this vaccine for any reason.”

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