Whooping Cough Vaccine Safety Check

Allergic reaction to whooping cough vaccine was comparable to another vaccine

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Is the whooping cough vaccine safe? How long after getting the vaccine does it take for an allergic reaction to become present? 

A recent study tested reactions to the pertussis-tetanus-diphtheria vaccine versus a tetanus-diphtheria vaccine in seniors. Researchers were looking to see if there were any bad reactions from the whooping cough strain in the vaccination.

The study’s results showed no difference in reactions between the two.

"Ask your doctor if you need a vaccination."

Hung Fu Tseng, PhD, MPH, from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, led a group of researchers to investigate the safety of a certain vaccine in seniors. Pertussis, other wise known as whooping cough, is at higher risk in infant and elderly population. The tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine is designed to ward off whooping cough.

For the study, 239,146 men and women over the age of 65 were split into two vaccination groups between 2006-2010. Half of the group were given a Tdap injection, while the other half were given a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine.

Dr. Tseng said, “Although there is a small increased risk of injection site reaction following Tdap vaccination in the elderly, it is no more common than that following the traditional Td vaccine.”

Authors concluded that while allergic reactions or minor inflammation at the injection site could occur between 1-6 days after vaccination, the rates were 1.6 times higher in the Tdap vaccine.

This study was published in November in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Funding was supported by America’s Health Insurance Plans contracted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Study authors have worked in research capacities for various pharmaceutical companies, but declare no conflicts of interest in this study.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 27, 2012
Last Updated:
December 3, 2012