Bordetella pertussis vaccination

Vaccination Is Not Immunization Vaccine Risks Exposed

Vaccines Have Serious Side Effects

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The whole-cell (inactivated) pertussis vaccine is the most reactive component of the triple antigen diph-theria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine. Several categories of reaction are recognized. Some of these, like protracted bouts of crying with unusual shock-like states or minor local and systemic effects, do not have long-term consequences. Another category includes more major neurological reactions which may lead to permanent disability. It has been extraordinarily difficult to establish a causal relationship between such injuries and vaccination. For example, the frequency of encephalopathy with residual brain damage one year after DTP administration was estimated to be 1/300 000 cases, but the correct figure could be between 1/54 000 and 1/5 300 000 cases.

A study by the Institute of Medicine (lOM) in the USA concluded that the pertussis component of DTP is responsible for rare instances of encephalopathy, but not for other disabling effects. Some countries stopped vaccination with this vaccine and in the UK this had disastrous effects following adverse publicity in the media in the mid-1970s (Figure 1). Two severe outbreaks of disease occurred with 29 deaths, and hundreds of cases of serious complications. Following a government publicity campaign, public acceptance of the vaccine increased. But there was obviously a need for a less reactogenic vaccine, and recently, an acellular preparation was licensed for use in the USA, as part of a trivalent combination, DTaP.


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