Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

Subscribe!

Old vaccine proves a dud

MagazineApril 1996 (Vol. 7 Issue 1)Old vaccine proves a dud

Acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines have been developed because they are supposed to be safer and more efficient than the earlier, whole-cell versions

Acellular pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines have been developed because they are supposed to be safer and more efficient than the earlier, whole-cell versions.

Children suffered fevers, febrile seizures and even died after being given the whole-cell vaccine and, it seems, all for very little. The whole-cell version has been reported to be just 48 per cent effective in a recent Swedish trial, and just 36 per cent effective in a study carried out in Italy. This means that nearly two-thirds of children given the vaccine were not, after all, protected, and yet still ran the risks of serious adverse reactions.

The problem is that the new acellular variety doesn't seem to be faring much better. Scientists don't understand which one of the three possible components to the vaccine actually works, although most contain the component known as pertussis toxin (PT).

Researcher Gregory Poland from the Mayo Clinic and Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota, explains: 'The minimum protective level of PT antibody is unclear, the clinical relevance of antibody produced by each of the various components is unknown, and disease continues to occur in the presence of high levels of postimmunization PT antibody.'

Possibly because so little is understood about the acellular version, adverse reactions seem as great. A recent study from the Nationwide Multicenter Acellular Pertussis Trial (NMAPT) examined 2189 children given either a version of the acellular vaccine or the whole-cell version. The study found that the rate of serious adverse reactions - death, near-death, seizures, developmental delay and hospital stays - did not differ between the two types of vaccine (The Lancet, January 27,1996).


Hard labour hard labour

Sun advice: lots of hot air

You may also be interested in...

Sign up for free today

Sign up now to get your FREE 17-point Plan to Great Health

Free membership gives you access to our latest news reports, use of our community area, forums, blogs, readers' health tips and our twice-weekly
e-news letter.

WDDTY Recommends

Latest Tweet

About

Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, cancer, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2016 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved