Objectives: The primary objective was to assess the nature and incidence of adverse events after a fourth dose of a tricomponent acellular pertussis-diphtheriatetanus vaccine given in the second year of life after primary vaccination with the same vaccine at 3, 4, and 5 months of age. A secondary objective was to analyze the immunogeniecity of the booster vaccination.
Design: Of the 5361 children enrolled (aged 14 to 28 months), adverse reactions were specifically solicited from the first 1863 enrollees for the first 4 days after vaccination and then were unsolicited for the remainder of the 4 weeks of follow-up (group 1). In the next 3498 subjects, safety and reactogenicify were entirely unsolicited for this 4-week period (group 2). Immunogenicity was analyzed by means of prebooster and postbooster serum antibody titers for all vaccine components in a random subgroup of 197 children from group 1.
Results: Soliciting symptoms elicited reports of at least one symptom in 1314 of 1809 children in group 1 (72.6%), including 993 (54.9%) with local and 885 (48.9%) with general symptoms during the first 4 days after vaccination. When symptoms were gathered in an unsolicited fashion, only 580 of 3498 children in group 2 (16.6%) had a reported symptom during this time, consisting of 344 (9.8%) local and 319 (9.1%) general symptoms, respectively. An unsolicited symptom, areactive edematous swelling of the whole thigh, occurred in 62 children (1.1%), with 45 and 17 reports in groups 1 and 2, respectively. The vast majority of all reported symptoms were mild to moderate, and all children recovered without sequelae. Fourteen serious adverse events were reported, but none was considered to be related to the vaccination. Immunogenicity analysis showed a vaccine response to pertussis toxin in 99.5% of subjects, to filamentous hemagglutinin in 98.5%, and to pertactin (69 kd outer membrane protein) in 99%. All subjects had postvaccination antibody titers of 0.1 IU/ml or greater against diphtheria and tetanus toxoids.