HL Deb 18 January 1994 vol 551 c44WA
Lord Ashley of Stoke

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In the last year for which figures are available, what was the number of yellow card reports of cot deaths occurring within 48 hours of a diphtheria, pertussis, or tetanus vaccination; and what was the number in each of the preceding two years.

Baroness Cumberlege

In young children the single vaccines are rarely given on their own and are usually administered as part of a triple vaccine of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP). Cot deaths (sudden infant death syndrome—SIDS) occur most commonly during the first year of life and may therefore coincide with the giving of DTP vaccine.

The number of yellow card reports we have received to a pertussis containing vaccine are as follows:

Number of deaths by SIDS reported in association with
vaccination with a pertussis containing vaccine
Year Number
1991 6
1992 5
1993 2

Information regarding the temporal relationship between time of vaccination and deaths is not readily available.

The numbers include all the reports to the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis components of the vaccine. The receipt of a report does not necessarily indicate that a specific drug caused the reaction. It is not possible to imply that any report is due specifically to any particular component of the vaccine. However, studies have established that association between the DTP vaccine and SIDS is temporal rather than causal.