What is the purpose of this study?

There are two different types of pertussis vaccines available worldwide, ‘acellular’ and ‘whole cell’. The whole cell vaccine was the first pertussis vaccine to be available in the world and was introduced into the UK routine schedule in 1957. The UK switched from using the whole cell vaccine to the acellular vaccine in 2004. The main reason for this change was that the whole cell vaccine was known to cause more reactions (such as fever, redness and swelling at the site of the injection) when compared with the acellular vaccine.

In the past few years, the number of cases of pertussis has increased in countries like the UK despite good vaccine coverage. In this study, we want to understand the immune response after giving a dose of acellular pertussis vaccine in different age groups (7-10 years old, 11-15 years old, 20-34 years old and 60-70 years old). The reason for having different age groups is that depending on your child’s age a different type of pertussis vaccine was available in the UK. We expect that younger children will have been vaccinated only with acellular vaccine, older teenagers and young adults with only acellular or a mixture of both vaccines, and older people only with whole cell vaccine. The use of different age groups will allow us to understand differences in immune responses and differences in how long immunity lasts in people who have followed different pertussis vaccination schedules. Currently there are still a lot of questions about how long vaccine protection can last, although we do know that immunity is lost as the years pass by. This study will help to answer these questions.

For further information, please see the Study Information Booklets: BERT SIB.pdf, BERT SIB 7-10 yrs.pdf, BERT SIB 11-15 yrs.pdf, BERT Parent SIB.pdf