Adult Whooping Cough Vaccine Approved

Boosts older shots that may have worn off

FRIDAY, June 10, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- The first adult booster shot for whooping cough has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency said Friday.

Aventis Pasteur's Adacel is the second whooping cough vaccine to be approved in little more than a month. In May, GlaxoSmithKline's Boostrix was sanctioned for use in adolescents ages 10 to 18, while Adacel has been approved for both adults and teens, the agency said.

Adacel combines a whooping cough inoculation with vaccines for tetanus and diphtheria. It contains the same components as an Aventis booster meant for infants, called Daptacel, though it has weaker forms of both the whooping cough and diphtheria germs, the FDA said.

Whooping cough, medically called pertussis, can be more severe in children and can be fatal. It produces coughs so strong that it can break a rib.

Older vaccines for pertussis have been known to wear off, allowing older people to transmit the bacterial illness to infants and very young children with weaker immune systems.

Side effects of Adacel include injection site pain and low-grade fever, which are common results from similar vaccines, the FDA said.

For more information about whooping cough, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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