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Boostrix Does Not Prevent Spread of Whooping Cough Class Action

When you receive a vaccine against a particular disease, you expect that you will not suffer from that disease; but can you still become infected with it, without knowing it, and spread it to others? At issue in this class action is the vaccine Boostrix, from GlaxoSmithKline plc and GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (together, GSK). GSK advertising of Boosterix suggests that people who are vaccinated with Boostrix will not spread pertussis (whooping cough) to babies, but the complaint alleges that those vaccinated with Boostrix are actually more likely to do so.

The class for this action is all consumers who received Boostrix in the US at any time during the applicable statute of limitations period up to the present.

The complaint describes Boostrix as “a tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis biological product.” Among its function is the protection of people who receive from pertussis, a disease popularly known as whooping cough, which was formerly a disease from which babies often died.

GSK’s advertising of the shot promotes the idea that those vaccinated with Boostrix will not become infected with pertussis and will not pass it on to babies. The complaint shows some examples of this, featuring a portrayal of the disease as a big bad wolf.

For example, the home page of the Boostrix website shows a grandmother holding a baby, in front of a mirror that shows her as the wolf. Similarly, a video ad shows people happily greeting each other, a big bad wolf, and a voiceover that, among other things, warns grandparents to “understand the danger your new grandchild faces, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about you and your family getting a [whooping] cough vaccination today.”

But the complaint alleges that people who get Boostrix are even more at risk of spreading the disease. The complaint alleges that researchers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and universities have found that Boostrix “creates a defective form of immunity to pertussis” that “actually renders them susceptible to becoming repeatedly infected with pertussis … without knowing they are infected.”

The complaint also quotes a paper at a pertussis vaccine conference as saying, “Natural infection evokes both mucosal and systemic immune responses” while vaccines like Boostix “induce only a systemic immune response. … Mucosal immunity is essential to prevent colonization and transmission of B. pertussis organisms. Consequently, preventive measures such as [vaccines like Boostrix] that do not induce a valid mucosal response can prevent disease but cannot avoid infection and transmission.”

The complaint alleges that GSK’s ads “were designed to spread the false premise that by receiving Boostrix, the recipient could not be infected with and transmit pertussis. Even though GSK knew or should have known that this was false, it believed that the fear of spreading the infection generated by this advertising campaign would increase the sales of Boostrix.”

The counts include negligent misrepresentation, fraud, false advertising, and violations of consumer protection laws, among other things.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Boostrix Does Not Prevent Spread of Whooping Cough Complaint

August 29, 2021

When you receive a vaccine against a particular disease, you expect that you will not suffer from that disease; but can you still become infected with it, without knowing it, and spread it to others? At issue in this class action is the vaccine Boostrix, from GlaxoSmithKline plc and GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (together, GSK). GSK advertising of Boosterix suggests that people who are vaccinated with Boostrix will not spread pertussis (whooping cough) to babies, but the complaint alleges that those vaccinated with Boostrix are actually more likely to do so.

Boostrix Does Not Prevent Spread of Whooping Cough Complaint

Case Event History

Boostrix Does Not Prevent Spread of Whooping Cough Complaint

August 29, 2021

When you receive a vaccine against a particular disease, you expect that you will not suffer from that disease; but can you still become infected with it, without knowing it, and spread it to others? At issue in this class action is the vaccine Boostrix, from GlaxoSmithKline plc and GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (together, GSK). GSK advertising of Boosterix suggests that people who are vaccinated with Boostrix will not spread pertussis (whooping cough) to babies, but the complaint alleges that those vaccinated with Boostrix are actually more likely to do so.

Boostrix Does Not Prevent Spread of Whooping Cough Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Item Does Not Do What It Is Advertised to Do, Vaccine