Children who do not receive pertussis vaccine are 23 times more likely to get whooping cough than fully immunised children, suggests a US study.
Researchers compared the vaccination status of 156 children who had pertussis with 595 children who had not had pertussis. After analysis, the researchers found that unvaccinated children were 23 times more likely to be infected with whooping cough than vaccinated children.
‘Herd immunity does not seem to completely protect unvaccinated children from pertussis,’ the authors said online in the journal Pediatrics.
‘This study helps dispel one of the commonly held beliefs among vaccine-refusing parents – that their children are not at risk for vaccine preventable diseases,’ they added. ‘It also shows that the decision to refuse immunizations could have important ramifications for the health of the entire community.
‘Based on our analysis, we found that one in 10 additional whooping cough infections could have been prevented by immunisation,’ the authors said.