The development and management of vaccines are crucial to society’s wellbeing as well as a complicated matter to comprehend and face up to. Due to the increase of whooping cases in California, researchers have been diligently trying to find the reasons causing this relatively recent illness growth.

Scientists from the Kaiser Permanente’s Vaccine Study Center have made a remarkable discovery suggesting the booster vaccine known as Tdap gradually loses its effectiveness.


The new study suggests the Tdap booster vaccine only provides protection during the first year after vaccination, yet the effectiveness decreases more than nine percent over the next four years. On Friday, February 5th the journal Pediatrics featured these shocking findings, based on a study led by Dr. Nicola Klein, chief researcher at Kaiser’s Headquarters at Northern California.

California has been facing with a whooping cough outbreak in the past six years; however, Dr. Klein’s findings might help fight the increase of the disease. The study demonstrates how the first year after vaccination is the only one providing a moderate effectiveness, preventing 69% of whooping cough cases. The next four years after vaccination, however, the efficiency of the vaccine can’t be accounted for as it decreases below 9% gradually.

“Study results raise questions regarding benefits of routinely administering Tdap single dose to every adolescent at age 11 or 12,” declared Dr. Nicola Klein, lead study author and co-director of Kaiser Permanente’s Vaccine Study Center. “Because Tdap provides reasonable short-term protection, it may contain pertussis more effectively if administered to adolescents in anticipation on local outbreak not on routine basis.”

The main objective of the study was to evaluate the long-term efficacy of the booster vaccine against whooping cough (pertussis). On the other hand, Dr. Klein said that despite the fact that the vaccine was quite successful in preventing whooping cough, it was related with very high fevers.

According to researchers, Pertussis symptoms mimic common cold symptoms, followed by bouts of coughing lasting up to weeks in some cases. As recent study results show evidence of a rather weak booster vaccine potency, Dr. Klein is conferring the Tdap vaccine usually administered to teens with her colleagues.

“The strategy of routinely vaccinating adolescents to prevent future disease did not prevent the 2014 epidemic, arguably because the protection afforded by a dose of Tdap was too short-lived,” said Dr. Klein in a statement. “While awaiting development of new vaccines that will provide longer-lasting protection against pertussis, we should consider alternate Tdap immunization strategies for adolescents.”

Source: (E) Science News