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Whooping Cough Vaccine Refusals

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Air date: June 28, 2009

Hosts: Steve Bogdewic, PhD, Barbara Lewis

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Interview: Jason Glanz, PhD
Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research

IU Health PhysiciansPrimary Care segments are presented
by IU Health Physicians.

A growing percentage of parents are deciding, for various reasons, not to get their children vaccinated against diseases such as whooping cough.

They count on the notion of "herd immunity," the idea that if most other children get the shots, then their child will be protected.

But new research suggests that relying on on the notion herd immunity is risky.

There were at least 10,000 cases of whooping cough (or pertussis) in the U.S. last year.

Among the children who were vaccinated, only one in 500 got the illness. Among those who weren’t, the rate was one child in twenty.

Sound Medicine's Steve Bogdewic talks to the lead author of the whooping caugh study, Jason Glanz, PhD. Glanz is an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Research.

Also, Dr. Bogdewic explains the importance of primary care physicians when it comes to providing complete and accurate information about vaccinations.