A small study from Italy has found that immunity to whooping cough is short lived after either vaccination or natural disease.

Researchers from the University of Milan evaluated 38 children, aged 5-6 years, who had been immunised three times by age 11 months with a combined diphtheria, tetanus, tricomponent acellular pertussis and hepatitis B (DTaP-HBV) vaccine.

Their immune responses were compared with those of 21 children who had acquired pertussis during their first year of life and who had received only a diphtheria, tetanus and hepatitis B (DT-HBV) vaccination. The immunity to pertussis was similar in both groups.

The authors recommend that previously vaccinated or infected children receive a booster to maintain long term immunity (Infect Immun, 2001; 69: 4516-20).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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