FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — A newly released study shows that, when it comes to whooping cough, the risk of vaccinated children becoming ill has increased.

“There are some vaccines , where once you get them they are good for your life…As far as we know.” Dr. Colin Greene said.

But thanks to a recent study done by Kaiser Permanente , we now know that the vaccine for pertussis also known whooping cough loses its effectiveness over time, the CDC defines whooping cough as a respiratory disease caused by a type of bacteria called b. Pertussis, it can lead to violent and uncontrollable coughing and even death.

“A gasping for a breath that’s the whoop and then they cough, cough, cough, cough, cough again, and its really devastating to watch your child have one of these or a patent and the truly devastating part is , if it’s a young infant they may not be able to do the whoop,” Greene said.

Researchers came to the conclusion by following nearly half a million children from 2006 to 2017. The reasons why a vaccine losses potency over times is a bit of a mystery as of now according to the Lord Fairfax Health director and family doctor Colin Greene.

“Typically the virus tend to be longer lasting then some of the bacteria, but that’s not exclusive, that’s a long way of saying we don’t absolutely know,” Greene said.

Greene says the study draws attention to the fact that the years ahead should be filled with much more research and more studies.

“It’s time for some of our scientific laboratories to look at some new varieties of vaccine , new formulations of vaccine and see if we can’t find one that works a little bit longer to do that,” Greene said.

But what he and the studies researchers do know, is that getting vaccinated for the highly contagious bacterial infection and other diseases is still necessary.

“The bottom line is remember from this same study, unvaccinated children were 13 times more likely to get pertussis than a vaccinated child,
“its okay to realize that maybe things aren’t perfect, but even a vaccine that doesn’t last forever is better than none, Greene said.

The study showed that out of 738 children who caught whooping cough, 80 percent of those children were fully vaccinated.