Benn CS and P Aaby. 2012. Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccination administered after measles vaccine: increased female mortality? Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 31(10): 1095-1097.
In low-income countries, children should receive 3 doses of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine (DTP) at 6, 10 and 14 weeks of age, and measles vaccine at 9 months of age. However, there is often a delay in administering the vaccines, and DTP is often given after measles vaccine. Previous observations suggest that this practice is associated with increased mortality for female, but not for male children. Within a vitamin A trial in Guinea-Bissau, vaccination status was registered at the time of measles vaccination at 9 months; 141 (31%) of 455 children were missing 1 or more DTP vaccines and were likely to receive them afterward. We examined whether missing DTP vaccine at this time point was associated with sex-differential effects on mortality. In female children, missing DTP was associated with 3.55 (95% confidence interval: 1.23-10.26) times higher risk of dying before 36 months of age, whereas it made no difference in male children (0.97 [0.34-2.80]). The result supports that receiving DTP after measles vaccine affects female children negatively.

Last revised 15 January 2013