Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story.

Gangarosa International Health Foundation and Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 39.21). 02/1998; 351(9099):356-61. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(97)04334-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the impact of anti-vaccine movements that targeted pertussis whole-cell vaccines, we compared pertussis incidence in countries where high coverage with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccines (DTP) was maintained (Hungary, the former East Germany, Poland, and the USA) with countries where immunisation was disrupted by anti-vaccine movements (Sweden, Japan, UK, The Russian Federation, Ireland, Italy, the former West Germany, and Australia). Pertussis incidence was 10 to 100 times lower in countries where high vaccine coverage was maintained than in countries where immunisation programs were compromised by anti-vaccine movements. Comparisons of neighbouring countries with high and low vaccine coverage further underscore the efficacy of these vaccines. Given the safety and cost-effectiveness of whole-cell pertussis vaccines, our study shows that, far from being obsolete, these vaccines continue to have an important role in global immunisation.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) continues to be one of the main causes of infant mortality in the United States. The objective of this study was to analyse the association between diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) immunisation and SIDS over time.Methods The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided the number of cases of SIDS and live births per year (1968¿2009), allowing the calculation of SIDS mortality rates. Immunisation coverage was based on (1) the United States Immunization Survey (1968¿1985), (2) the National Health Interview Survey (1991¿1993), and (3) the National Immunization Survey (1994¿2009). We used sleep position data from the National Infant Sleep Position Survey. To determine the time points at which significant changes occurred and to estimate the annual percentage change in mortality rates, we performed joinpoint regression analyses. We fitted a Poisson regression model to determine the association between SIDS mortality rates and DTP immunisation coverage (1975¿2009).ResultsSIDS mortality rates increased significantly from 1968 to 1971 (+27% annually), from 1971 to 1974 (+47%), and from 1974 to 1979 (+3%). They decreased from 1979 to 1991 (¿1%) and from 1991 to 2001 (¿8%). After 2001, mortality rates remained constant. DTP immunisation coverage was inversely associated with SIDS mortality rates. We observed an incidence rate ratio of 0.92 (95% confidence interval: 0.87 to 0.97) per 10% increase in DTP immunisation coverage after adjusting for infant sleep position.Conclusions Increased DTP immunisation coverage is associated with decreased SIDS mortality. Current recommendations on timely DTP immunisation should be emphasised to prevent not only specific infectious diseases but also potentially SIDS.
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