CDC recommends whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women
As cases of pertussis (whooping cough) increase in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have boosted their recommended pertussis vaccine schedule to include pregnant women. The new recommendations include a note to administer the vaccine “during each pregnancy (during 27 through 36 weeks gestation) regardless of number of years from prior Td or Tdap vaccination.”
Currently, infants do not receive their first tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine until they are two months old. By administering the Tdap vaccine to pregnant mothers, the vaccine antibodies will be passed along to the infant via the placenta, offering more protection against the disease. The CDC further recommends, “If not vaccinated during pregnancy or ever before, Tdap should be given immediately postpartum before leaving the hospital or birthing center with a newborn. By getting Tdap during pregnancy, maternal pertussis antibodies transfer to the newborn, likely providing protection against pertussis in early life, before the baby starts getting Dtap vaccines.”
In 2012, high rates of whooping cough outbreaks were reported in Washington, Vermont, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colorado, with many of those states declaring the outbreaks “epidemics.”
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