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CDC considering extra booster shot recommendation

Rochester, N.Y.   In recent years, there has been an increase in reported cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, across the United States.

According to Dr. Michael Pichichero with the Rochester General Hospital Research Institute, a majority of the recent cases involved children and teens ages eleven to fifteen.

In Monroe County, there have been 42 cases of whooping cough reported so far this year. In 2012, there were about 80. According to the Monroe County Department of Health, there are typically about 12 to 20 case of whooping cough in the county.

We believe this increase is happening because the current vaccine, which is safer than the old vaccine of decades ago, but it loses its effectiveness sooner and children need boosters more frequently than in the past, Pichichero explained.

Pichichero believes that an extra booster shot is now needed to fully protect children and teens from this disease and he said that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is considering making that recommendation.

This was discussed most recently at the CDC in June and the decision was to delay further vote until more information was available, Pichichero said.

He says that the CDC wants a cost-benefit analysis.

The cost of vaccination in the United States has been rising as we've added new vaccines to the schedule, he said. So now we have to do a cost effectiveness analysis.

In New York state, students entering the 6th grade are required to get their booster shots, however some students are exempted if it goes against their beliefs.

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Washington Times