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DTP, Tetanus Vaccinations May Cause Asthma

Infants and young children have been routinely vaccinated against diptheria, tetanus and pertussis since the late 1940s. Such vaccination practices have reduced the incidence of disease, although they have not come without a price.

A case in point comes from a recent study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994) provided information on diptheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP)
or tetanus vaccination, allergy history, and allergy symptoms
in 13,944 children (two months to 16 years old).

Results showed that vaccinated children were twice as likely to have a history of asthma, and 63% more likely to suffer an allergy-related symptom in the previous 12 months, compared with unvaccinated children. These associations were particularly strong in younger children (5-10 years of age).

The authors conclude that the number of allergies or allergy-related conditions attributable to vaccination may be high, as nearly all children in the United States receive at least one dose of DTP vaccine. Considering that chronic sinusitis, asthma and allergic rhinitis account for nearly 10 million care visits annually among children 15 and younger, parents should consult with their doctor to discuss the potential benefits and risks of vaccination.


Hurwitz EL, Morgenstern H. Effects of diptheria-tetanus-pertussis or tetanus vaccination on allergies and allergy-related respiratory symptoms among children and adolescents in the United States. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Feb. 2000: Vol. 23, No. 2, pp81-90.