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Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1981 June 13; 282(6280): 1925–1928.
PMCID: PMC1505783

Effect of vaccination on severity and dissemination of whooping cough.


A study was undertaken in general practice to clarify those factors, especially vaccinations, that influence the clinical picture and infectivity of whooping cough in the community. Although the range of the disease encountered was fairly mild, its duration was notable (mean +/- SD 50.9 +/- 32.1 days). By using multiway contingency table analysis it was found that in the more severe cases of whooping cough vaccination significantly shortened the illness (p less than 0.005) and reduced the number of coughing spasms (p less than 0.025). The protective effect of the vaccine was most notable in modifying infectivity within the family: 19% of vaccinated family contacts of index patients in whom the disease had been confirmed bacteriologically developed the disease when exposed to it compared with 72% of non-vaccinated contacts (p less than 0.001). These results show that whooping cough vaccination modifies the clinical illness and offers a worthwhile degree of protection to children exposed to the disease.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Stewart GT. Deaths of infants after triple vaccine. Lancet. 1979 Aug 18;2(8138):354–355. [PubMed]
  • Godber GE. Death of infants after triple vaccine. Lancet. 1979 Sep 1;2(8140):472–473. [PubMed]
  • Effect of a low pertussis vaccination uptake on a large community. Report from the Swansea Research Unit of The Royal College of General Practitioners. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981 Jan 3;282(6257):23–26. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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