The Newer Whooping Cough Vaccine In Australia Is Kind Of Crappy

whooping coughModern parenting often times seems to be defined by not just fear, but also by the latest trend. Whether it’s the latest baby app, the latest mommy trend, or the latest Angry Birds craze, it can be awfully difficult to stay ahead of the hoopla (assuming that you even want to). While raising kids in this iPad-punctuated age can often seem to be about acquiring the newest, greatest, fastest (fill in the blank), I bet Australian parents aren’t too thrilled with the latest whooping cough vaccine.

MyHealthNewsDaily reports that the latest whooping cough vaccine is kind of a bust. As in, the protection against whooping cough “wanes” over time compared to an older vaccine:

Children who received the older version of the vaccine were less likely to catch the disease before age 12, compared with those who received the newer version of the vaccine, or a combination of the two vaccines, the study found.

Sarah Sheridan of the University of Queensland in Brisbane and her team looked at 12 years worth of data for 40,500 children born in Queensland in 1998. These kids had received three doses of the whooping cough vaccine during infancy. A new vaccine was reportedly introduced the following year that these kids came into the world, meaning that these infants either received a cocktail of both vaccines, or each one separately and individually. Sheridan and her colleagues turned up the following:

About 270 whooping cough cases were reported during the 12-year study period.

Between 1999 and 2008, the yearly rate of whooping cough infection was 5.2 cases per 100,000 kids who received only the old version of the vaccine, and 13.2 cases per 100,000 people among kids who received only the new version…Those who received mixed doses were better protected against whooping cough during the outbreak if their first vaccination dose was with the old vaccine as opposed to the new vaccine.

Perhaps that can explain why Australia is reportedly the midst of a three-year whopping cough epidemic. Best of luck with that herd immunity, guys.

(photo: jang14/ Shutterstock)

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