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January 8, 1992

Acellular Pertussis Vaccines Available Soon For Fourth, Fifth Doses of DTP Immunization

JAMA. 1992;267(2):207-208. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480020017004

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THE LONG-AWAITED acellular pertussis vaccines are about to become available for use in the fourth and fifth doses of the childhood diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) immunization schedule.

Although there is no move at present to incorporate the acellular form of the vaccine into the first three doses of the routine childhood DTP immunization schedule, the coming licensure of these vaccines marks the first step toward their eventual availability for the entire DTP schedule. Studies are being done by manufacturers and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md, to test the safety and efficacy of these acellular agents when used in the first three doses.

In the meantime, an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md, having heard evidence from two manufacturers— Lederle Laboratories, Wayne, NJ, and Connaught Laboratories, Swiftwater, Pa—that the acellular vaccines are at least as immunogenic as the whole-cell product and have fewer untoward reactions, recommended fourth