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New whooping cough vaccine 'ineffective'
[Posted: Thu 02/08/2012 by Gillian Tsoi www.irishhealth.com]
The rise in incidences of whooping cough in babies across the world may be down to the new vaccine, which is ineffective, according to research from Australia.
Doctors in Australia have discovered that children given the current vaccine against whooping cough were three times more likely to develop the highly contagious respiratory infection than children who received an earlier version of the vaccine.
Symptoms of whooping cough are similar to the flu, including a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, mild fever and mild cough.
The study was carried out by the Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute (QCMRI) and the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne.
QCMRI researcher, Sarah Sheridan has shown that even though the new whooping cough vaccine is safer, and has far less side effects than its predecessor, it is also less effective.
The study looked at more than 40,000 children born in 1998 in Australia, who were vaccinated against whooping cough.
It found that those treated with a full course of the newer cellular vaccine were three times more likely to have developed whooping cough in the current outbreak than those who received the previous whole cell vaccine.
According to the researchers, doctors and parents "should not to exclude whooping cough as a diagnosis just because a child has had all of their vaccines".
The experts suggested that parents should be reassured that vaccination still offers the best protection against developing whooping cough and that "infants who aren't vaccinated have a much greater risk of contracting the disease and developing serious complications".
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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