Saskatoon Whooping Cough Cluster Prompts Immunizations

The Saskatoon Health Region is asking mothers of newborns to get vaccinated for whooping cough.  This is a dangerous disease for infants who cannot be vaccinated until they are older.

About 279,000 people worldwide died from whooping cough in 2003, according to the World Health Organization. That same year, there were an estimated 17.6 million cases of whooping cough worldwide.

The disease is a significant cause of worldwide infant death, and vaccinations averted about 38.3 million cases and 607,000 deaths in 2003, says the WHO.

Read more: The Star Phoenix

Infant protection relies on most people in the community being vaccinated and the disease having difficulty spreading from person to person.  This is known as herd immunity.  To reach herd immunity for whooping cough (Pertussis), 92-94% of the community should be vaccinated or otherwise immune.

The vaccination rates in Saskatoon for all diseases are low.  At the end of April the Saskatoon Health Region was attempting to address this through drop-in clinics across the city.

While 76 per cent of children living in the region have received all of their immunizations, the goal is for rates to reach 85 per cent for adequate protection of the community.

An estimated 1,400 two- and three-year-old children in the SHR are behind in vaccinations.

Read more: The Star Phoenix

The 76% immunization rate is lower than it should be.  Further, the true immunization rate may be even lower.   The SHR Annual Report notes that:

… clients who refused all vaccines are counted as if they had received all recommended vaccines according to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization schedule.
What percentage of clients are refusing vaccines?  The percentage of people refusing protection for their children should be published, not hidden as being vaccinated.  This represents a health risk for their children and other who been unable to receive vaccinations.
The reported vaccination rate for previous years is:
Another concern is that low income regions have a much lower than average vaccination rate.
… it was found that the rate for child immunization coverage in Saskatoon’s six low income
neighbourhoods was less than half the rate for affluent neighbourhoods.
The much lower vaccination rates would more easily allow diseases to gain a foothold and to spread.  Compounding this lower income families are likely to be younger with younger children.
Disclaimer:  Don`t get medical advice from a blog, see your health provider.

2 Responses to “Saskatoon Whooping Cough Cluster Prompts Immunizations”

  1. Vanliga sjukdomar…

    Saskatoon Whooping Cough Cluster Prompts Immunizations « Saskatchewan Skeptics…

  2. constant cough…

    […]Saskatoon Whooping Cough Cluster Prompts Immunizations « Saskatchewan Skeptics[…]…

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