Allergies are on the rise in Australia over the past 20 years, with three out of every 10 babies born each year now developing a food-related allergy or eczema by their first birthday.
OPTIMUM: OPTimising IMunisation Using Mixed schedules
The OPTIMUM Study is investigating if giving a dose of 'whole-cell' whooping cough vaccine at two months of age instead of the current 'acellular' whooping cough vaccine could help protect young children against allergy.
The whole-cell vaccine was used in Australia until 1999 and it is still used in the vast majority of the world. Both vaccines are safe and protect against whooping cough via training the immune system in different ways.
The study places the children into two groups and, at two months of age, one half of the children receive the whole-cell vaccine and the other half receive the acellular vaccine. All of the children then continue to receive their normal acellular vaccines at four and six months of age. The OPTIMUM study continues to follow the children for 19 months to assess any changes in their allergy status.
Director of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Disease, Dr Tom Snelling, with Clinical Research Fellow Glady Perez and the Kramadibrata family
Recruitment commenced earlier this year and the aim is to enrol 150 babies. Currently we have 50 babies enrolled and recruitment will continue over the next year for all healthy babies born after 37 weeks gestation and aged between 6 - 12 weeks.
If you or someone you know may be interested in particpating in the OPTIMUM Study, please email firstname.lastname@example.org