Mogensen 2017: The Introduction of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertusis and Oral Polio Vaccine Among Young Infants in an Urban African Community: A Natural Experiment

Child Getting VaccinatedEBioMedicine, 17 (2017), 192-198  (Authors:  Mogensen, Andersen, Rodrigues, Benn, Aaby)

The authors examined the outcome of the introduction of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and oral polio vaccine (OPV) in an urban community in Guinea-Bissau in the early 1980s. They followed the children at weighing sessions every six months from 1978 including those born by the end of December, 1983. 

They found that children between 3 and 5 months old died an average of five times more in the vaccinated group than in the unvaccinated group, although the two groups were identical in every way except birth dates.  Among those  receiving only the DTP shot without the OPV shot, it was even worse:  10 times as many of them died compared to the group of unvaccinated children.

CONCLUSIONS:  “It should be of concern that the effect of routine vaccinations on all-cause mortality was not tested in randomized trials. All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.”

NOTE:  If you read the conclusion in the Abstract, and then in the Full Text, you will notice that the strong conclusion using the words “may kill more children … than it saves” was greatly modified and weakened in the Abstract.  Knowing that most readers — even physicians — read only the Abstract, were they attempting to avoid “making waves?”

MedLine || Full Text

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