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Booster vaccine: one jab too many?

MagazineNovember 2005 (Vol. 16 Issue 8)Booster vaccine: one jab too many?

The drug will be marketed as Boostrix by GlaxoSmithKline and indicated for use as a single booster dose to adolescents aged 10 to 18 years

The drug will be marketed as Boostrix by GlaxoSmithKline and indicated for use as a single booster dose to adolescents aged 10 to 18 years.

Under the current schedule, children already receive three to four doses of the DPT vaccine, which is supposed to provide life-long immunity. In fact, studies show high levels of whooping cough (pertussis) among those already vaccinated, indicating that the pertussis component, at best, doesn't work for very long. The same seems to hold true with diphtheria and tetanus.

Reported side-effects of the vaccine include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. Headaches, fever and fatigue may also be experienced for a short period after the injection. The study did not examine the more controversial side-effects, such as anaphylactic shock, encephalitis or sudden death (JAMA, 2005; 293: 3003-11).


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