The study, Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines: A Report of the Committee to Review the Adverse Consequences of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines, found a link between microcephaly and the Tdap vaccine.
The following, written by Sean Adl-Tabatabai, sums up the findings of the research:
Among symptomatic cases, presumed causes are frequently grouped according to the timing of the suspected insult as occurring pre-, peri-, or postnatally. Prenatal factors are thought to account for 20 to 30 percent of cases.
The category includes cerebral anomalies, chromosomal disorders, neurocutaneous syndromes such as tuberous sclerosis, inherited metabolic disorders, intrauterine infections, family history of seizures, and microcephaly (Bobele and Bodensteiner, 1990; Kurokawa et al., 1980; Ohtahara, 1984; Riikonen and Donner, 1979).
One of the earliest reports suggesting a possible link between infantile spasms and pertussis immunization are those of Baird and Borofsky (1957).
24 children who had hypsarrhythmia and infantile myoclonic seizures and whose development prior to the onset of spasms was apparently normal were described in the case. Nine cases of infantile spasms were reported to have occurred between 1 and 5 days after DPT vaccination.
Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines (1991)
Parents have come to depend on vaccines to protect their children from a variety of diseases. Some evidence suggests, however, that vaccination against pertussis (whooping cough) and rubella (German measles) is, in a small number of cases, associated with increased risk of serious illness.
This book examines the controversy over the evidence and offers a comprehensively documented assessment of the risk of illness following immunization with vaccines against pertussis and rubella. Based on extensive review of the evidence from epidemiologic studies, case histories, studies in animals, and other sources of information, the book examines:
The relation of pertussis vaccines to a number of serious adverse events, including encephalopathy and other central nervous system disorders, sudden infant death syndrome, autism, Guillain-Barre syndrome, learning disabilities, and Reye syndrome.
The relation of rubella vaccines to arthritis, various neuropathies, and thrombocytopenic purpura.
The volume, which includes a description of the committee’s methods for evaluating evidence and directions for future research, will be important reading for public health officials, pediatricians, researchers, and concerned parents.