Old whooping cough vax more effective than new one

Turns out the old whooping cough vaccine--which caused bad reactions in some who received it--provided better protection against the disease than the antidote currently in use, according to an Australian study. And researchers have noted the challenge of developing a new whooping cough vaccine that provides protection and limits bad reactions.

In the study, researchers found that the older vaccine provided better protection against whooping cough in Australian kids both before and after a recent epidemic. From 1999 to 2008, prior to the surge in the coughing disease, the rate of infection was 5.2 cases per 100,000 kids who received the older whole cell pertussis vaccine and 13.2 cases per 100,000 children who received the newer acellular pertussis vaccine, Fox News reports. And the older shot performed even better during the epidemic of recent years, with 113 cases for every 100,000 kids versus 373 cases per 100,000 children on the acellular pertussis vaccine.

In 1997, the U.S. began using the acellular pertussis vaccine instead of the whole cell pertussis vaccine, which sometimes caused a range of side effects from fever to swelling at the injection site. But this new study shows children who receive the older vaccine are less likely to contract whooping cough before the age of 12 than those who receive the newer shot, as reported in Fox News.

The information comes during what could be the worst whooping cough epidemic in the U.S. in the last half-century. Nearly 18,000 cases have been reported so far in 2012, a number totaling more than twice the cases at the same point last year, The Associated Press reported last month, based on findings from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

- check out the Fox News take
- see last month's AP story

Related Articles:
Whooping cough bug evades vaccine in Australia
Combined vaccine has low seizure risk in babies
AP: More kids aren't getting required vaccines