Unvaccinated Children At Higher Risk Of Whooping Cough

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

New research from the US suggests that children whose parents won't let them be vaccinated are 23 times more likely to get whooping cough compared to children who are fully immunized.

The study was led by a vaccine research team at Kaiser Permanente Colorado's Institute for Health Research in Denver.


The researchers wrote that most parents have their children vaccinated, and this has led to a dramatic fall in numbers of children with serious childhood diseases, but despite this, the number of parents who don't want their children to be vaccinated appears to be rising in the US.

The scientists wanted to find out if children infected with pertussis or whooping cough were more likely to have parents who had refused to let them be vaccinated than equivalent children who did not become infected.

For the case controlled study the researchers used data on children enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente of Colorado health plan between 1996 and 2007. They matched each case of whooping cough to 4 randomly selected controls (ie children who had not had the disease).