KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds the Whooping Cough vaccine loses its effectiveness sharply over time.
Dr. Mary Anne Jackson of Children’s Mercy Hospital says this could explain, in part, why much of the nation including Kansas City has seen resurgence in Whooping Cough cases.
"I've been here at Children’s Mercy Hospital since 1984. The year 2012 will be the worst year I've ever seen in terms of number of cases," Jackson said.
Doctors say the new study underscores the need for a new vaccine and for children to get additional booster shots.
According to doctors, the current vaccine, which has been in use since the 1990s doesn’t protect people as long as doctors thought. The study showed the vaccine loses about 42% of its effectiveness each year.
“We used to think your booster would last you for 10 years. It looks like it probably is less than that and probably five years is going to be the duration in between boosters. We'll see what the Committee on Immunization Practices decides in the month of October."
Jackson says there is currently no recommendation to change the immunization schedule in the United States.
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