February 22, 2023

In The News: Maternal Tdap Vaccination Reduces Pertussis in Young Infants

Healio reports on results from a CDC study finding a sustained decrease in pertussis cases among young infants in the years following the introduction of maternal Tdap vaccination in the United States in 2011. Pertussis continues to cause substantial morbidity and mortality in the U.S. despite the widespread use of effective vaccines for infants, older children and adolescents. The maternal vaccine enables expecting mothers to pass along antibodies before the infants themselves may begin receiving the vaccine.

Researchers conducted an ecological study among infants aged younger than one year between 2000 and 2019. In the period prior to the CDC recommendation, mean annual pertussis incidence was 165.3 cases per 100,000 infants aged younger than two months. That youngest group born after the recommendation experienced a decreased incidence to 14.53 per 100,000 infants.

In a press release that accompanied the study publishing, the CDC said women should be vaccinated in the third trimester of each pregnancy. The CDC also recommends that all people who will be in close contact to infants remain up to date on their own pertussis vaccinations.

PIDS member Jose Romero, of the CDC, is quoted in the release stating that a mother receiving a Tdap vaccine during pregnancy, “offers infants the best protection before they are old enough to receive their whooping cough vaccines. This protection is critical because those first few months are when infants are most likely to have serious complications, be hospitalized or die if they get whooping cough.”

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