The rich man's dog gets more in the way of vaccination, medicine and medical care than do the workers upon whom the rich man's wealth is built - Samora Machel


image by: Webster County Health Unit

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Protection from the TdaP vaccine doesn’t last very long

When my patients come in for their 11-year check-up, I give them the TdaP vaccine. I explain to them that a big part of the reason we give it is to protect them against pertussis, or whooping cough. I talk about outbreaks that are happening all the time, how it can be especially dangerous for little babies, and how this vaccine can help stop them from catching pertussis and spreading it to others.

It turns out that’s only true for about 2 to 3 years after getting the vaccine, according to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics.

Before the early 1990s, we used a different kind of pertussis vaccine, a “whole-cell” vaccine. It worked quite well, and rates of pertussis…

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 Protection from the TdaP vaccine doesn’t last very long

Rarely, it led to seizures or similar episodes, and even more rarely it caused acute encephalopathy, a more serious but temporary effect on the brain. Because of all this, we changed the vaccine to the “acellular” kind, which has fewer side effects. We went from DTP to DTaP. And when we did, we stopped protecting children as well as before.

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