Are vaccinations against whooping cough safe and effective?

Sunday, November 22, 2020
By Caroline Taber

A review of multiple randomized control trials of the pertussis (or whooping cough) vaccine, used to prevent a highly contagious upper-respiratory infection, shows the vaccine to be between 84% and 94% effective. While the concentration of pertussis antibody decreases over time in those who've been vaccinated, data shows that even low antibody levels are highly protective, especially in children, who are at the highest risk of contracting whooping cough. A 2017 study also shows that the vaccine is 82% effective in preventing B. parapertussis infection as well.

Meta-analyses also report that the vaccine is safe. It has typical vaccine side effects such as fever, chills and swelling at the injection site. There is no notable incidence of other local or systemic reactions. The minor risks of an adverse reaction are outweighed by the immunity benefits conferred.

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