Since the implementation of the pre-school pertussis booster vaccination in the United Kingdom, one-fifth of school children with persistent cough were found to have whooping cough, according to the results of a recent study.
The study, published online on June 24, 2014, in BMJ, estimated the prevalence and clinical severity of pertussis among school-aged children who visited their primary care provider for persistent cough from November 2010 to December 2012 after the introduction of the pertussis booster. A total of 279 children 5 to 15 years of age presenting with persistent cough were included in the study.
The results indicated that 56 children (20%) had evidence of a recent pertussis infection. Among children with whooping cough, 39 had been fully vaccinated. In addition, the risk for pertussis was more than 3 times greater in children who had received the preschool pertussis booster vaccination 7 or more years ago compared with those who had received the booster shot less than 7 years ago. Pertussis risk was similar among children who received 5 and 3 courses of the booster vaccine.
“These findings will help to inform consideration of the need for an adolescent pertussis booster vaccination in the United Kingdom,” the authors conclude.