What is the best way to protect my newborn from pertussis (whooping cough)? Cocooning or Tdap while pregnant?

Prego and ShotPregnant moms:  REFUSE the Tdap during pregnancy.  Get it before you get pregnant or right after the baby is born.

Cocooning is when you vaccinate the parents, caregivers, and other family members against pertussis so they don’t bring whooping cough home to your new baby. This was promoted for the past decade and sadly in the US in 2012 was abandoned for the misguided program of vaccinating all moms while pregnant with the Tdap.

I say sadly because cocooning was never pushed hard before being abandoned as ineffective, AND the idea of injecting 170-330 micrograms of aluminum (a known neurotoxin with an adult daily maximum of 50 micrograms) into the pregnant mom, has not only never been tested, it is down right insanity.  How could the “smartest infectious disease doctors in the country” (that classification is debatable) make such a recommendation?

Let me explain why this happens.  If you assume that vaccines are safe, and that aluminum as an adjuvant is safe, then boosting pregnant moms antibodies against pertussis that then gets passed to the baby who is born with protection makes perfect sense.  The only problem with this is that aluminum has never been tested for safety in vaccines, it was grandfathered in as safe.  What testing may have been done was certainly not done in pregnant women, pregnant primates, or even pregnant rats!  No institutional review board (IRB) would ever allow the deliberate injection of a known neurotoxin (aluminum) into a normal healthy pregnancy!  Nor should you.

The good news, just published here in Pediatrics, “Parental Tdap Boosters and Infant Pertussis: A case-control study,” showed a greater than 50% reduction in cases when cocooning was used.  This study was done in Australia during the worst pertussis epidemic of the century (over 30,000 cases) so it has validity and would be hard to reproduce in the US where our rates of pertussis are quite low in comparison.

With only a handful of infant pertussis deaths a year in the US out of 40 million births, your risk of loosing your baby to pertussis if you decline the Tdap while pregnant is about one in ten million. You are more likely to be struck by lightning.  You can lower that risk by 50% by getting the Tdap before you get pregnant or right after you deliver and having all other caregivers and household members get the vaccine against pertussis.


Get the guaranteed injection of a horrible neurotoxin- aluminum, directly to your developing babies unprotected brain by getting the Tdap while pregnant and, I guess, hope for the best.  You are becoming part of the largest government backed experiment on pregnant moms in the history of the USA.  When the autism rate climbs from 1/50 to 1/20 and the rates of anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, etc. also climb, do you suppose anyone will look at whether or not this injection of neurotoxin into unborn children’s brains had anything to do with it?

This one is a no-brainer!  Do NOT get the Tdap while pregnant!

Yes, with that decision you must live with yourself if that one in 10 million chance that your baby dies of pertussis.  If you do get this vaccine, be willing to live with yourself if your baby has autism, ADHD, ADD, anxiety, depression, and lowered IQ, with risk of one of those things happening being almost certain (we just will never know).


Dr. Paul





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