Friday, October 24, 2008

Vaccines Linked to Asthma

I have often wondered if the best defense against devastating diseases is to be surrounding by people who have been vaccinated, but not get the vaccine yourself. That way you would be able to take advantage of herd immunity, but wouldn't have the side effects from immunizations. That wouldn't work for everyone for obvious reasons. Anyway, here's the latest on a link between DTP and asthma.

From Mail Online Health: A vaccination given to babies has been linked to asthma. Experts believe the diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough jabs might provoke an immune system response which predisposes the body to the lung condition. But delaying the vaccines by two months from the recommended age dramatically reduces the risk, doctors found.

They set out to test a theory that the timing of the triple jab affects the development of childhood asthma.

Vaccine: Is it too early?

For the study, 11,531 children received four doses of the combined DTP jab. Babies are supposed to have their first dose by the age of two months. It was found the likelihood of developing asthma by the age of seven was halved if this initial dose was delayed by two months.

Of nearly 5,000 babies studied who had the jab at the scheduled age, 13.8 per cent developed asthma. This compared with a rate of 5.9 per cent in babies who were four months or older at first DTP immunisation. The second, third and fourth doses of DTP were to be given at four months, six months and 18 months.

Researchers at Manitoba Institute for Child Health and the University of Manitoba, in Canada, also found a decreased likelihood of asthma if the other doses were delayed, but the strongest evidence was seen in relation to the delay of the first dose.

Only five per cent of children who had delays in all of their DTP jabs went on to develop asthma. This figure jumped to 12 per cent among children who followed the immunization schedule, it was reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The UK has the highest prevalence of asthma in children aged 13 and 14 worldwide. One in 11 children is affected.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Knight in Dragonland said...

This information cannot be applied to the current situation in the United States, since children here receive the acellular pertussis vaccine DTaP, not the DTP vaccine looked at in this study. Many anti-vaccine sites use data accumulated regarding the old DTP vaccine and misinform the public by applying that data to DTaP vaccine ... a deliberately deceptive practice.

Knight in Dragonland said...

We also must remember that pertussis is a potentially deadly illness, especially in infants less than six months old. That is why the DTaP vaccine is given at 2, 4 and 6 months ... to provide early protection vs. and infection still endemic in the United States that could very easily kill the infant.

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