Can the whooping cough vaccine cause health problems?

Before the 1990s, the pertussis immunization was part of the DTP vaccine, which contained the whole cell pertussis vaccine. The public became really concerned about the side effects of DTP (even though they were generally benign ailments like high fever and soreness at the injection site), so we switched to a newer vaccine called acellular pertussis vaccine in the 1990s. The acellular pertussis vaccine is not as effective as the whole-cell vaccine.
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"There are people who have misconceptions about vaccines, such as the concern that they might cause autism – a charge that has been completely disproven," explains UCLA pediatric infectious-disease specialist James Cherry, MD. Prior to 1995, there were some negative reactions to the whole-cell DTP vaccine, but the present vaccines have had the reaction-causing components of the old DTP vaccine removed, so that reaction – fever and redness, pain at the vaccination site – is generally mild and less common. Moreover, the preservative thimerosal, which is falsely linked to autism, is now not even in the vaccine.

Continue Learning about Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

Whooping Cough

If your child experiences uncontrollable coughing that makes it difficult for them to breathe, talk to your doctor about whooping cough. Thousands of people yearly become ill with whooping cough, which is also known as pertussis, ...

and some are hospitalized. This highly contagious illness can be very dangerous, and even deadly, in young infants. Thankfully, vaccines have helped to reduce the spread of whooping cough, although current vaccines are not 100% effective against this illness. If your child contracts this bacterial respiratory infection he or she will most likely be treated with antibiotics. To protect your children against whooping cough, talk to your doctor about vaccination
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.