Tdap Appears Safe for Pregnant Women, Even With Recent Tetanus Shot

HealthDay News — Even if a woman gets a tetanus-containing shot before she conceives, it is still safe to give her the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine while she is pregnant, new research indicates. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers analyzed data from 29,155 women who received Tdap during pregnancy in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. They compared outcomes among those women who had received a tetanus-containing vaccine less than two years before pregnancy, two to five years before pregnancy, and more than five years before pregnancy.

Regardless of how long it had been since the women last received a tetanus-containing vaccine, there were no significant differences in rates of fever, allergy, or local reactions among mothers or in rates of small for gestational age, premature birth, and low birth weight among infants. The study authors added that further research is needed to determine if giving Tdap vaccine to pregnant women who recently received a tetanus-containing vaccine increases the risk of stillbirth or miscarriage.

“Our findings should reassure patients and clinicians who might be hesitant to give Tdap vaccine to pregnant women who recently received a Tdap or other tetanus-containing vaccination,” the authors write.


1. Sukumaran L, McCarthy N, Kharbanda EO, et al. Association of Tdap Vaccination With Acute Events and Adverse Birth Outcomes Among Pregnant Women With Prior Tetanus-Containing Immunization. JAMA. 2015;314:1581-1587.