We have started freaking out about vaccines ever since 1998, when Dr. Andrew Wakefield published his notoriously fake study claiming that vaccines caused autism. Even though he got his license suspended, and even his co-authors refused to back him up because of the disturbing nature of his tests, people are still giving him way too much credit. Vaccines aren’t bad for you; they’re developed by experts to serve a function. But sometimes they simply don’t do too much good, as vaccine for whooping cough not as effective as believed.
The study on pertussis and the vaccine against it
Performed by a team of researchers from the North Californian Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, the study looked to assess the efficiency of the whooping cough vaccine after multiple reports of the vaccine failing started popping up not only throughout the country, but throughout the whole world.
For the study, the team of researchers looked at whooping cough (also known as pertussis) infections in 280,000 children around the age of 10 from 2009 until 2015. All of the children were reported to have received their vaccine (the Tdap booster) at 11 or 12, as California mandates.
According to the study, the vaccine only provides moderate usefulness in the first years, but as subsequent years go by, it becomes increasingly less effective. The vaccine designed to protect against pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus only has a 69% efficiency rate in the first year, dropping to 57% in the second, then to 25% in the third, 9% in the fourth, and so on.
Possible alternative practices
This caused the team of researchers behind the study to suggest the practice of alternative ways of administering the vaccines, ways that would perhaps grant a higher rate of prevention. The questions raised were also inspired by previous attempts at modifying the application schedule.
As the lead author of the study, Dr. Nicola P. Klein said that the new findings raise serious questions about the practicality of applying a single scheduled dose. The current mandates dictate that the vaccine is to be administered to children by the time they are in the seventh grade.
A far better prevention tactic, according to the study author, would be for the vaccine to be administered to pre-teens and adolescents in case of signs of a local outbreak, or even in preparation of one, instead of it being administered once, as scheduled.
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