In a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, longitudinal study, 252 children received licensed Lederle diphtheria-tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccine adsorbed (DTP) at 2, 4, and 6 months of age, and 245 children received a DTP vaccine with the Lederle/Takeda acellular pertussis component (APDT) at the same ages. Both groups of children received APDT vaccine at 18 months of age. After each of the first three immunizations, APDT vaccine recipients had fewer local and systemic reactions than did DTP vaccinees. Reactions after the 18-month APDT vaccination were minimal in severity regardless of the vaccine previously received. Antibody responses to lymphocytosis-promoting factor and agglutinogens were more pronounced in DTP recipients; however, APDT recipients had a better serologic response to filamentous hemagglutinin, and responses to the 69K protein were equivalent. This APDT vaccine produces fewer reactions than the standard whole-cell DTP vaccine. The protective significance of the serologic responses to the APDT vaccine is unknown, but the greater response to filamentous hemagglutinin and equivalent response to the 69K protein compared with those to DTP vaccine seem promising.