Infants and young children have been routinely vaccinated
against diptheria, tetanus and pertussis since the late 1940s.
Such vaccination practices have reduced the incidence of disease,
although they have not come without a price.
A case in point comes from a recent study published in the Journal
of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Data from
the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
(1988-1994) provided information on diptheria-tetanus-pertussis
or tetanus vaccination, allergy history, and allergy symptoms
in 13,944 children (two months to 16 years old).
Results showed that vaccinated children were twice as likely
to have a history of asthma, and 63% more likely to suffer
an allergy-related symptom in the previous 12 months, compared
with unvaccinated children. These associations were particularly
strong in younger children (5-10 years of age).
The authors conclude that the number of allergies or allergy-related
conditions attributable to vaccination may be high, as nearly
all children in the United States receive at least one dose
of DTP vaccine. Considering that chronic sinusitis, asthma
and allergic rhinitis account for nearly 10 million care visits
annually among children 15 and younger, parents should consult
with their doctor to discuss the potential benefits and risks
Hurwitz EL, Morgenstern H. Effects of diptheria-tetanus-pertussis
or tetanus vaccination on allergies and allergy-related respiratory
symptoms among children and adolescents in the United States.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,
Feb. 2000: Vol. 23, No. 2, pp81-90.