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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 April, 2004, 06:52 GMT 07:52 UK
'No asthma link' to cough jab
Immunisation against whooping cough is not linked to a rise in allergies and asthma in children, researchers at the University of Bristol say.

A study found children who had whooping cough jabs as a baby were no more likely to have asthma, wheezing or allergies than youngsters who had not.

Researchers said their survey of 14,000 children should reassure parents.

The Department of Health advises that babies should have the whooping cough jab at age two, three and four months

Allergic diseases

The survey findings are based on data collected by the University of Bristol's Children of the 90s project, also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

The report concludes: "Although a number of studies using different methods have reported associations, our study provides evidence that this association was not present in a large unselected population of children

"These findings extend the observations of our own and others' previous studies.

"Taken together, these observations should provide further reassurance of the lack of a positive association between pertussis immunisation and later onset of allergic diseases in children.

"Previous anti-vaccine statements led to a reduction in Pertussis immunisation uptake in the United Kingdom and a subsequent rise in reported cases during the early 1980s."


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