We are looking for healthy young adults to take part in a study that will help us learn more about a new pertussis vaccine that we hope will offer greater protection from whooping cough.
What is pertussis?
Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is caused by bacteria called Bordetella pertussis that can infect the nose, throat and lungs. The bacteria produces toxins that cause a severe and long-lasting cough. For young babies who aren’t yet old enough to be vaccinated, a pertussis infection can be life- threatening.
While pertussis is not as dangerous in teenagers and adults, they can still be very unwell for weeks and may also spread the infection to babies.
What are researchers investigating?
Vaccines providing protection against pertussis have been available for a long time - most young adults would have received vaccinations in childhood plus a booster vaccine offered in high school. The current vaccine used in Australia and many other countries is highly effective; however, new research has shown that the immunity begins to wear off after three to five years.
In this study, researchers are aiming to find out if a new vaccine called Pertagen® can provide teenagers and young adults with superior immunity and longer-lasting protection against pertussis.
A pertussis vaccination is recommended for young adults who want to protect themselves and others from a whooping cough infection. This is particularly important if you are in close contact with babies and young children, such as:
Visiting nieces and nephews
Working in childcare
Completing practical assessments or placements in schools or hospitals
What does the study involve?
The study will involve attending our clinic at Perth Children’s Hospital (or selected universities) for three to four appointments, including:
Receiving one dose of either the new pertussis vaccine or the current vaccine used in Australia called Boostrix (randomly assigned)
General health check-ups by the study doctor and nurses
Three blood tests to measure your immune response to the vaccine
Three follow-up phone calls to ask about your health.
What about safety?
Pertagen® has been well-tolerated by both teenagers and young adults in previous studies. There have been no safety concerns identified.
Are you eligible to participate?
Healthy adults aged 18 – 25 who haven’t had a case of whooping cough or a pertussis vaccine in the past five years are invited to take part in this study. Female participants must not be pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy in the first two months of the study.
Please contact the study staff if you would like more information or to get involved.