By Christina England
It has been announced that a new vaccine has been approved by the FDA for the over 65′s. GlaxoSmithKline’s Boostrix vaccine is said to be able to protect the elderly from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough). The vaccine was originally approved for use in adolescents in 2005.
Prior to this vaccine being approved for the older age group, the elderly could only be protected against diphtheria and tetanus, however, FDA officials warned that nursing home residents may become particularly susceptible to whooping cough due to recent out breaks in California, Michigan and Ohio in 2010,.
According to ‘Internal Medicine News’ the website announcing the news, it seems that this vaccine once again has had extremely inadequate testing, with only 1,300 subjects over 65’ s being used to test the product.
The most common side effects reported were headache, fatigue, and pain at the injection site. http://m.internalmedicinenews.com/index…
However, given the extremely low number of actual cases of diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough being reported, just how necessary is this vaccine for the over 65′s? There have been just 57 reported cases of diphtheria from 1980 to 2004 and only 5 since the year 2000. http://nursing-resource.com/diphtheria/
In fact Dr Robert Mendelsohn MD once said:
Today your child has about as much chance of contracting diphtheria as he does of being bitten by a cobra.
If Dr Mendlesohn is correct, then an elderly person has even less chance of contracting diphtheria than the average child, especially if he/she lives in a nursing home.