August 1990

A Pertussis Vaccine Myth Dies

Author Affiliations

Editor, AJDC Dean's Office, Room 1529 Tulane University School of Medicine 1430 Tulane Ave New Orleans, LA 70112
Dr Fulginiti has not been engaged in recent years in research on pertussis vaccine. Many years ago he received support from a variety of pharmaceutical firms to undertake studies ofmany vaccines, including pertussis vaccine. He has also, in the past but not in recent years, testified as an expert witness for physicians and pharmaceutical firms, for which he received compensation, in trials concerning the alleged side effects of pertussis vaccine.

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(8):860-861. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150320022018

In the March 23/30, 1990, issue of JAMA, there is an article by Griffin et al1 concerning the risk of seizures and encephalopathy after immunization with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine. Accompanying that article is an editorial by James Cherry, MD,2 professor of pediatrics at UCLA and a former member of the AJDC editorial board. Dr Cherry argues persuasively that permanent neurologic damage after pertussis vaccine is a myth and that it is time for that myth to end. I urge all interested readers to seek out the editorial and the article it highlights.

Over the years, I have been persuaded by a growing body of evidence that the so-called pertussis vaccine encephalopathy does not exist. Many years ago, I believed, as did most vaccine investigators at the time, that a certain number of children were permanently damaged by the toxic influence of pertussis vaccine on the

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