Call for rethink on pertussis booster decision

There is a case for reintroducing the 18-month pertussis booster, according to the author of a study that shows babies often acquire the infection from infant siblings with waning immunity.

The WA study of 115 babies with pertussis found 35% had caught the disease from siblings and 38% from parents.

The siblings were typically under four years, suggesting they may have become susceptible to pertussis before their four-year-old booster vaccination, said study author Dr Tina Bertilone of the South Metropolitan Health Service in Perth.

Presenting her findings at a Public Health Association of

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