The Effectiveness and Safety of Pertussis Booster Vaccination for Adolescents and Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Apr;98(16):e15281. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000015281.


Background: Due to the resurgence of pertussis, many countries have revised the pertussis immunization schedules and recommended booster doses of pertussis component vaccine for adolescents and adults. Here we aim to investigate the effectiveness and safety of pertussis component vaccines in adolescents and adults.

Methods: Based on a prospectively registered protocol, we reviewed the literature and selected trials in adolescents and adults using pertussis component vaccine. We followed Cochrane and GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) guidance to assess risk of bias, quality of evidence and to perform meta-analyses.

Results: A total of 17 clinical trials were included. At post-vaccination with pertussis component vaccine, the vaccine protective rate of pertussis reached 88.89%, the vaccine response rate of pertussis antibodies in most trials were above 85%, and the antibody titers at post-vaccination were higher than at pre-vaccination. Reduced-antigen-content diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine was associated with significantly higher incidences of nausea [RR = 1.26, 95%CI:1.01, 1.57] and vomiting [RR = 2.08, 95%CI:1.21, 3.58] in acellular pertussis vaccines combined with tetanus and diphtheria (Tdap) group than diphtheria tetanus-toxoid vaccines (Td) group. Higher dose of diphtheria toxoid and adjuvant in dTap might cause higher incidence of fever.

Conclusions: Except for significant difference in gastrointestinal reaction (nausea, vomiting), acellular pertussis component vaccines are quite safe and has short-term effectiveness for the adolescents and adults. The adverse event of acellular pertussis component vaccine is similar to or safer than that of placebo or other vaccines without pertussis component.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Secondary* / adverse effects
  • Immunization, Secondary* / methods
  • Pertussis Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Pertussis Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Pertussis Vaccine / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Whooping Cough / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult


  • Pertussis Vaccine