Whooping cough vaccines don't last as long as doctors had thought

A bottle of the pertussis vaccine against whooping cough and a syringe are shown in a pharmacy in Pasadena.
A bottle of the pertussis vaccine against whooping cough and a syringe are shown in a pharmacy in Pasadena. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

A new study suggests the whooping cough vaccine that came out in the 1990’s has limited effectiveness.
The study’s author is Nicola Klein of Kaiser Permanente’s Vaccine Study Center.

“Current vaccines are safe and effective, they just don’t last as long as we would like," Klein said. "Parents should know that some protection is better than no protection and they should continue to vaccinate their children according to recommendations.”

The study found the chance of catching whooping cough increases soon after children receive the last of five recommended shots when they’re about six-years old.

Health officials are considering recommending another booster shot, strengthening the vaccine or making a new one.

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