It should be a distant memory. Read this excellent article by Paul Howard and James R. Copland in City Journal that explains why we may be hearing more, not less about pertussis in the future. Why did nearly 8,000 little California kids get pertussis in 2010--and 10 of them die? Lack of access to vaccine? Not quite. Howard and Copland explain here:
Last October, the National Committee for Quality Assurance issued a report finding that vaccination rates among privately insured two-year-olds declined by nearly 4 percent in 2009—even as rates among enrollees in Medicaid, the government-run insurance program for low-income families, increased. In fact, 91.2 percent of children in Medicaid received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination, compared with 90.6 percent of children in private plans. In California’s wealthy Marin County, public health official Fred Schwartz reports that parents are “signing waivers to opt out of immunizing kindergarten-bound children.” About 7 percent of all children entering kindergarten in Marin County are unvaccinated, the seventh-highest percentage among California’s 58 counties. It isn’t surprising, then, that Marin County accounts for 15 percent of all California whooping-cough cases, despite having just 0.67 percent of the state’s population.
Breathtaking. In the same issue, you might also enjoy Theodore Dalrymple's review of Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, by Paul A. Offit.