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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Pertussis Slayer

By Phil Plait

Itâs pretty easy to make fun of some celebrities who endorse nonsense. The queen of these is Jenny McCarthy, who seemingly without irony talks about how dangerous vaccines are while simultaneously injecting the most dangerously toxic protein known to science into her face.

But we humans do tend to listen to celebrities, and so Iâm actually very happy when one endorses reality. Actor Sarah Michelle Gellarâ best known to BABloggeees, no doubt, from âBuffy, The Vampire Slayerââhas partnered with the March of Dimes and Sanofi Pasterus (the worldâs largest vaccine manufacturer) in âSounds of Pertussisâ, a campaign for adults to get their TDaP (tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis) booster shot.

They put together this video to promote the campaign:

Nicely done. They have a Facebook page where you can find their âBreathing Roomâ discussed in the video.

This campaign is a pretty good idea. I just wrote about the need for vaccinations, as well as for the TDaP boosterâ which I myself got recently. I talked about people traveling abroad bringing diseases back with them, but I should have also mentioned that many times, unvaccinated friends and family of parents with newborns are the vector for the disease. If more people got their boosters, this terrible circumstance would dwindle.

This blog reaches a lot of folks, and Iâm grateful for the chance to make the world a healthier place, and a safer one for infants. But Ms. Gellarâs reach is significantly larger, and I hope this campaign goes far and wide.

Pertussis kills. So can measles, and lots of other diseases. Many of these illnesses can be wiped out by vaccination. Weâve done it before, but we keep getting recurrences and outbreaks because too many people refuse to vaccinate. Herd immunity is our best safeguard against these potentially fatal diseases, and that relies on enough people getting vaccinated.

On the Sounds of Pertussis page they have stories from parents whose children caught pertussis. Two of the stories turn out well, and oneâ¦well, I had a very difficult time watching Natalie Nortonâs video all the way through. I canât imagine the horror of watching your own baby suffer from such a devastating illness, let alone watching him die.

Talk to your board-certified doctor. And go to the Sounds of Pertussis page, as well as the other pages I have linked here. Vaccinations are one of the greatest medical successes in human history. But they are useless if we donât implement them.

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