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July 17, 1948

DIPHTHERIA IMMUNIZATION: Use of an Alum-Precipitated Mixture of Pertussis Vaccine and Diphtheria Toxoid

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Md.; Medical Director J. P. Leake conducted this study in the author's absence during part of the years 1943 to 1945.

JAMA. 1948;137(12):1009-1016. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890460005002

There has been a downward trend in United States mortality from diphtheria and pertussis, but current reports show that several thousand young children continue to die every year from these diseases. Many deaths from these diseases will be prevented when effective prophylactic agents are extensively used. Such agents will be used more extensively when demonstrated improvements are made which increase their protective efficiency, decrease the number of reactions and simplify their method of administration.

To these ends considerable progress has been made in recent years. Diphtheria prophylactic agents have progressively improved from the old toxin-antitoxin mixtures to fluid toxoid and, now, alum-precipitated diphtheria toxoid. In 1938 Harrison and his associates1 introduced alum-precipitated pertussis vaccine and it became evident that the method for immunizing children might be simplified through mixing precipitated pertussis and diphtheria antigens for simultaneous administration. In 1940 Schutze concluded from animal experiments that the admixture of alum-precipitated