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Pertussis Vaccine

Author: Not Specified
Publication: Not Specified
Document Dated: Not Specified
Date Posted: January 16, 1997

Pertussis vaccine

A description of the vaccine

Please note that this piece of information is incomplete, the end portion is missing, however it does give a good overview of the vaccine(s). If I ever get a complete copy of this piece I will finish it properly!

Pertussis Vaccine

You will note from the following data sheet that pertussis is available in two different forms, one as a triple vaccine and the other as a monovalent vaccine, I don't know which of these we received.

This is an extract from Immunisation against infectious disease, page 24 and 25. (this article was not given to me in its complete form, therefore this extract cannot be deemed to be complete).


5.2.1 Pertussis vaccine is a suspension of killed Bordetella pertussis organisms with an estimated potency of not less than four international units in each 0.5ml of vaccine. The vaccine is usually given as a triple vaccine combined with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines, with an adjuvant such as aluminium hydroxide (DTPer/Vac/Ads, Trivax Ads). It is also available as a monovalent pertussis vaccine. Plain vaccine should not be used as it is less immunogenic and causes more systemic reactions, especially fever.

5.2.2 Absorbed diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis vaccine (DTPer/Vac/ads): one 0.5ml dose consists of a mixture in isotonic buffer solution of diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid absorbed on to aluminium hydroxide gel, together with not more than 20,000 million Bordetella pertussis organisms. The potency of the diphtheria component is not less than 30 Iu; that of the tetanus component not less than 60 Iu and that of the pertussis component not less than an estimated 41 Iu. Thiomersal is added as a preservative to a final concentration of 0.01%.

5.2.3 Monovalent pertussis vaccine: one 0.5ml dose contains not more than 20,000 million Bordetella pertussis organisms. Thiomersal is added as a preservative to a final concentration of 0.01%.

5.2.4 The vaccine should be stored between 2-80C, but not frozen. If the vaccine is frozen, it should not be used.

5.2.5 The dose is 0.5ml given by deep subcutaneous or intramuscular injection.


5.3.1 Absorbed pertussis vaccine as a component of the primary course of immunisation against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTPer/Vac/Ads) is recommended for all infants from two months of age, unless there is a genuine contraindication (see 3.2 (not available)).

5.3.2 The primary course consists of three doses with an interval of one month between each dose (see 4.6). If the primary course is interrupted it should be resumed but not repeated, allowing appropriate intervals between remaining doses.

5.3.3 Monovalent pertussis vaccine can be given when the pertussis component from earlier immunisations. Children who have received a full course of immunisations against diphtheria and tetanus should be given three doses of monovalent pertussis vaccine at monthly intervals.

5.3.4 Where the primary course of diphtheria/tetanus immunisation has been started and the parent wishes pertussis vaccine to be added, DTP vaccine may be used for subsequent doses, followed by monovalent pertussis vaccine at monthly intervals to complete the three doses. Similarly, children presenting for their pre-school diphtheria/tetanus booster who have not previously been immunised against pertussis should be given a triple vaccine as their first dose, with two subsequent doses of monovalent pertussis vaccine at monthly intervals.

5.3.5 The low uptake of pertussis vaccine from 1975-1985 left a considerable number of unimmunised older children who received DT vaccine only. Such children should be immunised with single antigen pertussis vaccine, both for their own protection and for that of young siblings under the age of immunisation; there is no upper age limit.

5.3.7 Children with problem histories When there is a personal or family history of febrile convulsions, there is an increased risk of these occurring after pertussis immunisation. In such children , immunisation is recommended but advice on the prevention of fever should be given at the time of immunisation.

In a recent British study, children with a family history of epilepsy were immunised with pertussis vaccine without any significant adverse events. These children' developmental progress has been normal. In children with a close family history (first degree relatives) of idiopathic epilepsy, there may be a risk of developing a similar condition, irrespective of vaccine. Immunisation is recommended for these children.

Where there is still an evolving neurological problem, immunisation should be deferred until the condition is stable. When there has been documented history cerebral damage in the neonatal period, immunisation should be carried out unless there is evidence of an evolving neurological abnormality. If immunisation is deferred, then this should be stated on the neonatal discharge summary. Where there is doubt, appropriate advice should be..... (this is where my copy of this article ends)

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