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Pertussis vaccine is cleared of allergy link

A study of more than 14,000 children has ruled out an alleged link between the pertussis vaccine and the rise in asthma and allergy rates in the UK.

The results from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children showed children who had been vaccinated with pertussis were no more likely to have asthma, wheezing or allergies than unvaccinated children.

Around 20 per cent of the children had been diagnosed with asthma by the age of 91 months and the same proportion of children showed an allergic reaction to a skin-prick test at seven years old.

The results, published online by the BMJ, showed no difference between the numbers of cases in the vaccinated or unvaccinated groups.

A possible association between the increased prevalence of allergic diseases and immunisation was first suggested in 1994 and other studies have since warned of a link.

However, the alleged link has not had any adverse effect on recent uptake.

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