Extensive efforts on the part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), vaccine manufacturers, and other investigators in the United States and Europe have generated important new information regarding the efficacy of several acellular and whole-cell pertussis vaccines administered to infants. Multiple acellular pertussis vaccines combined with tetanus, and diphtheria toxoids (DTaP) have been tested in European trials and compared with whole-cell diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) preparations. The results of most trials have been released to the press and formal manuscripts will be published in scientific journals within the next few weeks.1-3 The data from these studies indicate variable efficacy of both acellular and whole-cell pertussis vaccines, reflecting differences in manufacturing processes and the number and type of vaccine components in the new acellular vaccines.

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