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Whooping cough and the whooping crane.

Unlike the whooping crane, which has been threatened by extinction in recent years, whooping cough (pertussis) is still very much with us. In fact, it has been on the increase as the result of reluctance of many parents to have their children receive the triple vaccine, DPT, that protects against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus. Unfortunately, the pertussis component of the vaccine can produce undesirable side effects in some instances, and, very rarely, these can be serious. Whooping cough can also have very serious consequences, however, and possible danger from the vaccine is far out-weighed by potential complications of the disease itself.

Parental fears may soon be allayed by a new Japanese vaccine that may soon be on the market. Tested successfully on 2,500 American children, it has been shown to be as effective as the old vaccine, but with fewer side effects. The manufacturer has recently filed an application for licensing with the Food and Drug Administration, and if the new vaccine results in renewed parental acceptability, it will indeed be a worthwhile addition to the preventive medicine arsenal.
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Title Annotation:new vaccine with fewer side effects may soon be available
Publication:Medical Update
Date:May 1, 1991
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