FDA panel recommends pertussis vaccines for teens, adults

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 4, 2005

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The Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously recommended the approval of two vaccines that would provide immunity against whooping cough for teens and adults, according to statements from manufacturers.

Both formulations add pertussis to the already recommended booster for tetanus and diphtheria. The FDA is not bound to follow the advice but usually does.

The committee recommended the approval of Boostrix, a vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline that would provide protection against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough for those ages 10 to 18.

Endorsement also was given to Adacel, a similar formulation manufactured by sanofi pasteur, which is intended for those ages 11 to 64.

Public health officials long have been looking for ways to reduce the growing number of adolescents contracting pertussis and spreading it to infants, who are particularly vulnerable. "Adding pertussis to the current tetanus and diphtheria booster shot for teens is a logical strategy," said Colin Marchant, MD, adjunct associate professor at Boston University School of Medicine.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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