I regret to inform you that this column has been inadvertently posted. These were the words of my colleagues. Sorry about that.
Federal health officials on Monday delivered a 13-page letter to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, demanding the reinstatement of a health advisory for doses of the popular vaccine against whooping cough, or pertussis. The advisory has been discontinued for the past two years amid concerns that it was encouraging parents to skip the entire childhood vaccination schedule.
The CDC had also suspended a recommendation for a vaccination against two additional classes of measles, rubella and mumps. The same concern that prompted the Pertussis advisory has been cited for those two other vaccines. But the agency announced Monday that it would continue to recommend a vaccination for those classes.
The administration of Pertussis is an international issue. While all other industrialized countries have a routine whooping cough vaccination, those with either a high incidence of the disease or particular concerns about the virus include the U.S., Canada, Japan, Israel, China, Argentina, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Iceland, Australia, Norway, Korea, the Philippines, Egypt, Russia, Italy, Thailand, Kenya, Singapore, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Argentina, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Mongolia, Croatia, Moldova, Georgia, Estonia, Turkey, Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Montenegro, Belgrade, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Tajikistan, Moldova, Djibouti, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.
But recent outbreaks of Pertussis, which includes a painful cough, that persist in some countries are prompting vaccine concerns in other countries. Last year, eight people died in Italy from whooping cough and two children in Norway died after refusing vaccines.
In 2014, Italy announced its intention to stop requiring vaccinations for a range of vaccine against several diseases, including Pertussis. But the decision was reversed after healthcare providers posted their concerns online.