by Ethan A. Huff
January 04, 2012
The latest vaccine scam being peddled on the public by US health
authorities involves vaccinating parents and family members against
certain infectious diseases in order to supposedly prevent
transmission of these diseases to babies that are too young to get
However, the practice,
known as "cocooning," has admittedly never been scientifically
proven to work in the first place, and in all honest terms is
nothing more than unsubstantiated quackery.
A report recently published in the journal Pediatrics by the
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) claims that cocooning can
help prevent babies from becoming infected with
known as whooping cough, as well as influenza.
But Dr. Herschel R.
Lessin, one of the authors of the report, admitted recently that
the concept has never been scientifically tested, and nobody can say
for sure that it actually works.
"It's a relatively
new concept," Dr. Lessin is quoted as saying by Reuters Health.
"I don't know that anyone has looked at whether it works."
In fact, the only
studies that have actually been conducted on cocooning have had to
use made-up estimates and calculations rather than actual tests.
In other words,
scientists just created some numbers and percentages, which they
then used to say that cocooning might work. And the US Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is always quick
to endorse any program that promotes vaccines, took the opportunity
to immediately endorse cocooning, despite a complete lack of
evidence that it even works.
Officials in Canada are not taking the bait, however, as they say
the cost of administering vaccines as part of a cocooning program,
assuming they even work in the first place, far outweighs any
Even if cocooning might
work in some cases, which has never been proven, it would take
vaccinating a million people or more just to save one child from
death, which would cost millions of dollars.
...have absolutely no basis in
science, but are used to get as many people vaccinated as possible
It is mind-boggling to think that many vaccine advocates support
vaccination concepts like cocooning or "herd immunity" on the false
basis that they are rooted in sound science, when they are really
nothing more than fairy tale myths.
And yet these same folks
are quick to malign anyone who questions or opposes such vaccination
nonsense, accusing them of ignoring and denying science.
The real goal of the new report, though, is not necessarily to
prevent infant deaths, or to even back up the cocooning theory with
a semblance of sound science - the purpose is simply to "get
everyone immunized," these being the exact stated words of Dr.
Lessin, who admitted openly his opinion that,
"immunization is the
greatest thing in the history of mankind."
So who needs actual
science when your personal
faith in vaccines is already set in
Doctors Split on Vaccine Strategy to
by Andrew M. Seaman
and Frederik Joelving
A large group of U.S.
doctors on Monday gave the green light for pediatricians to offer
vaccines to close family members of babies who are too young to get
The strategy, known as
cocooning, is meant to block diseases from
reaching the infant in the first place and is backed by the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But earlier this month, Canadian government researchers suggested
that at least for whooping cough, a major infectious disease
worldwide, cocooning comes with a hefty price tag.
They estimated that to prevent one infant death from the disease in
Quebec or British Columbia, at least one million parents would have
to be vaccinated - at a cost of some 20 Canadian dollars per shot.
appears inefficient," said Dr. Danuta Skowronski, of the British
Columbia Center for Disease Control in Vancouver.
"In fact, the criteria for this to be successful are almost
impossible," she told Reuters Health. "We're not saying that
babies are not important - of course they are - but we have to
be wise about how we use our finite resources."
The new American Academy
of Pediatrics' report on cocooning, released in the journal
Pediatrics, is not directly recommending that pediatricians start
offering parents shots - a practice that has been controversial.
"What it says is, if
you choose to do it, this is ok," said the AAP's Dr. Herschel R.
Lessin, who worked on the report. "They give flu shots in
airports and pharmacies. There is really no reason why a
licensed doctor can't give them also."
Lessin said the main focus is on flu shots and the
which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis).
There is already a national U.S. mandate to give these vaccines to
everybody, he added, including pregnant women. But babies have to be
at least six weeks old to get the TDaP vaccine and six months old to
get a flu shot.
In the meantime, their only protection is through antibodies they
get from their mother in the womb and in breast milk if she has been
vaccinated or has natural immunity against the infections.
Lessin said that because not all pregnant women get vaccinated,
cocooning is still a reasonable strategy to shield infants.
People with whooping cough typically cough uncontrollably and may
have trouble breathing. The disease is especially dangerous for
newborns, whose immune systems are still not fully mature.
According to the CDC, more than half of babies under one year who
get whooping cough need to go to the hospital.
While rates of the infection have dropped fast over the past half
century, they have begun to climb again over the past few years.
About one in 1,000 U.S. infants caught the pertussis bug last year,
the CDC says, although these are only the reported cases.
"The goal here is to
get everyone immunized," said Lessin. "As pediatricians, we
think immunization is the greatest thing in the history of
Because it's a "hassle"
for pediatricians to bill parents' insurance for the shots, he said
the most practical thing is to have people pay out of pocket for the
vaccines - in the case of a flu shot, around $30.
Lessin acknowledged that there isn't much evidence on how effective
cocooning really is.
"It's a relatively
new concept," he said. "I don't know that anyone has looked at
whether it works."
The Canadian study,
published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, takes a stab
at that, although it's based on calculations instead of an actual
From past research, Skowronski and her colleagues estimated
that whooping cough in infants could be blamed on parents passing
the disease along some 35 percent of the time.
Given rates of the disease in Quebec and British Columbia from 2005
to 2009, which were about the same as in the U.S., the researchers
found that to prevent one baby from being hospitalized, between
10,000 and 20,000 people would need to be vaccinated.
To prevent a baby from landing in an intensive care unit, the number
rose to about 100,000.
To stave off a death, 1 million parents would
have to get the vaccine - at a total price of some 20 million
we're calling for is that regions that are considering the
cocoon program take into account what the risks are for parents
passing pertussis to their infant," said Skowronski.
An editorial published along with the Canadian study notes that the
results don't necessarily apply to areas with high rates of whooping
cough or recent outbreaks.
Dr. C. Mary Healy, who co-wrote the editorial, added that,
"in the overall cost
of having a baby, the cost of a vaccine is not huge."
Healy, of Texas
Children's Hospital's Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research
in Houston, helped launched a campaign in 2008 to vaccinate new
mothers before they left the hospital. In 2009, it was expanded to
any family members who would be near the baby.
"In Houston, what
drove us was that nationally there was an unacceptable level of
death," she said.
The U.S. CDC has called
the program a "success story."
Dr. Tom Clark, a researcher at the CDC, told Reuters Health
the government published an updated cocooning recommendation in
It now urges expectant mothers to get the vaccine against whooping
cough late in pregnancy, and recommends that other people in contact
with the baby get vaccinated as well.
Healy said the main problem is access. Not all fathers go to
prenatal visits, for instance, and not all grandparents or people
coming to visit the baby are accessible.
She acknowledged that money is not a concern with her program.
"Our program is
funded from foundation grants and donated vaccines," said Healy.
"We don't have cost barriers."