The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 14-0, with one abstention, to recommend that providers of prenatal care implement a Tdap immunization program for all pregnant women. Healthcare personnel should administer a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy irrespective of the patients prior history of receiving Tdap. If not administered during pregnancy, Tdap should be administered immediately postpartum.
This builds upon a previous recommendation made by ACIP in June 2011 to administer Tdap during pregnancy only to women who have not previously received Tdap. 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. Tdap will also protect the mother at time of delivery, making her less likely to transmit pertussis to her infant. If not vaccinated during pregnancy, Tdap should be given immediately postpartum, before leaving the hospital or birthing center.
The U.S. remains on track to have the most reported pertussis cases since 1959, with more than 32,000 cases already reported along with 16 deaths, the majority of which are in infants.