Whooping Cough Vaccine Is Not Providing Long-lasting Protection, Study Finds

Posted: Feb 7 2016, 11:44pm CST | by , in News | Latest Science News


Whooping Cough Vaccine is not Providing Long-lasting Protection, Study Finds
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The effects of whooping cough booster vaccine fade away with each passing year and leave teens vulnerable to the infection

A vaccine, used for protecting teens from whooping cough, is not found as effective as it should be.

The Tdap, the booster vaccine, is designed to prevent whooping cough or pertussis as well as diphtheria and tetanus but a new research has found that vaccine is not able to provide long-lasting protection. The effects of Tdap fade away with each passing year, leaving kids vulnerable to the infection as they grow older. 

The shot protected 69% of 11 and 12 years old kids against whooping cough in the first year after vaccination but rate dropped considerably to 57% in the subsequent year and hit further 25% and 9% in the third and fourth year after vaccination respectively. 

Whooping cough cases have been climbed significantly in United States in the past few years despite the fact that booster vaccine is given regularly. Kids receive the first dose of whooping cough vaccine when they begin their kindergarten and get another shot at age 11 or 12.

US health officials became increasingly considered when a record uptick has noticed in whooping cough cases in 2012 where more than 48,000 children have been diagnosed with the infection, which is the highest since 1955.

To assess the effectiveness of the vaccine, researchers examined around 280,000 children during the outbreak of whooping cough in California from 2010 to 2014.

Researchers found that kids aged 10 to 16 had some of the highest rates of whooping cough during the outbreak, even though most of them were vaccinated. 

“This study demonstrates that despite high rates of Tdap vaccination, the growing number of adolescents who have received only the newer acellular pertussis vaccines continue to be at higher risk of contracting whooping cough and sustaining epidemics,” said Nicola Klein, co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center and lead author of the study published in journal Pediatrics

She suggests. “Because Tdap provides reasonable short-term protection, it may contain whooping cough more effectively if it is administered to adolescents in anticipation of a local outbreak rather than on a routine basis at age 11 or 12.”

Booster vaccines have played a vital role in combating whooping cough or pertussis. The infection 8,000 Americans each year but ever since the vaccines have been introduced, the rate has fallen to a great extent. The need is to create vaccines that can provide long-term protection against the disease.

“The strategy of routinely vaccinating adolescents to prevent future disease did not prevent the 2014 epidemic, arguably because the protection afforded by a dose of Tdap was too short-lived,” said Klein. “While awaiting development of new vaccines that will provide longer-lasting protection against pertussis, we should consider alternate Tdap immunization strategies for adolescents."

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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