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July 1992

The Artful Dodge on Pertussis Vaccine

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Health Sciences Center University of Oklahoma 5300 N Meridian Oklahoma City, OK 73112

Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(7):788. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160190018010

Sir.—A government committee report on the reputed adverse effects of pertussis vaccine1 continues a "sorry saga whose principle victims are children."2 This committee was selected in consultation with the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, a nine-member group composed of at least two pediatricians and five attorneys or legal representatives, in accordance with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660). The government committee concluded that an acute encephalopathy can result from the administration of killed whole-cell pertussis vaccine, or, in their words, "the evidence is consistent with a causal relation" between diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine administration and an acute encephalopathy.

This conclusion is contrary to that of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization, the British Pediatric Association,3 and Golden,4 a member of an Academy of Pediatrics Task Force that issued a separate report

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