Record Number of Pertussis Cases Prompt Health Officials to Call for Increased Vaccination

July 27, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


Public health officials estimate that the number of whooping cough cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could reach a record high since the year 1959, with almost 18,000 cases reported as of July 2012—more than double the number of reported cases this time last year—according to a July 19, 2012, USA Today article. Officials say that vaccinating all adults, especially pregnant women, and providing a booster shot to children when they are 11 years old can help protect infants who are too young for vaccination and are most vulnerable to the disease. The booster shot is expected to help because some evidence indicates that the vaccine’s effectiveness wanes after children receive their final dose between the ages of four and six years—an effect that may have contributed to the rise in whooping cough cases in children age 10 to 14. While 95% of toddlers are vaccinated against the disease, only 8.2% of adults are, said Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Shoulder pain is a common short-term side effect of vaccination; however, in some cases, the symptoms may persist because of administration problems. A study published November 2010 in Vaccine examines 13 cases in which the administration of vaccines resulted in persistent shoulder pain.

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