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Expert Rev Vaccines. 2005 Apr;4(2):173-84.

Acellular pertussis vaccines in Japan: past, present and future.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology, University of Cincinnati, 231 Albert B Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0524, USA. mineo.watanabe@uc.edu

Abstract

An antivaccine movement developed in Japan as a consequence of increasing numbers of adverse reactions to whole-cell pertussis vaccines in the mid-1970s. After two infants died within 24 h of the vaccination from 1974 to 1975, the Japanese government temporarily suspended vaccinations. Subsequently, the public and the government witnessed the re-emergence of whooping cough, with 41 deaths in 1979. This series of unfortunate events revealed to the public that the vaccine had, in fact, been beneficial. Furthermore, researchers and the Japanese government proceeded to develop safer pertussis vaccines. Japan now has the most experience worldwide with acellular pertussis vaccines, being the first country to have approved their use. This review describes the major events associated with the Japanese vaccination program. The Japanese experience should be valuable to other countries that are considering the development and use of such vaccines.

PMID:
15889991
DOI:
10.1586/14760584.4.2.173
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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