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July 2, 1982

Newer pertussis vaccines on horizon

JAMA. 1982;248(1):22-23. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330010010003

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More than 1 million children in Japan have received new and possibly safer pertussis vaccines produced by several different manufacturers. Unlike the classic whole-cell vaccine (the "P" component of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunization, DTP), the new products are partially purified and detoxified acellular or extract vaccines.

At a recent workshop on new pertussis vaccines held at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md, M. Kimura, MD, of a similar agency in Japan, reported on clinical trials of the vaccines in 5,000 children. All of the children began their series of two immunizations at 24 months of age (although the series is now begun at 6 months of age).

The vaccines produced a much lower incidence of local reactions and fever than DTP. It is too soon to know whether they also cause less or no CNS irritation, but preliminary evidence indicates that the incidence of serious reactions such as seizures and