Maternal Tdap Vaccination Highly Protective Against Infant Pertussis

pertussis bacteria
pertussis bacteria
Maternal Tdap vaccination was found to be highly protective against pertussis in newborns.

A study published in Pediatrics found that maternal Tdap vaccination was “highly protective against infant pertussis,” particularly during the first 2 months of life. 

Pertussis vaccination is recommended during pregnancy to protect newborns but there is little data regarding the efficacy of maternal vaccination of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, acellular pertussis (Tdap) before the infant’s first dose of diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, and during the first year or life in infants who have received DTaP. 

Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center conducted a retrospective cohort study of infants born at Kaiser Permanente Northern California from 2010–2015 to estimate the efficacy of maternal pertussis vaccination for protecting newborns in the first 2 months of life as well as in the first year of life accounting for each infant DTaP dose. 

Of the total 148,981 newborns, the efficacy of maternal Tdap was 91.4% (95% CI, 19.5-99.1) during the first 2 months of life, and 69.0% (95% CI, 43.6-82.9) during the first year of life. The vaccine efficacy was 87.9% (95% CI, 41.4-97.5) before the infant’s DTaP vaccine doses, 81.4% (95% CI, 42.5-94.0) between Doses 1 and 2, 6.4% (95% CI, –165.1 to 66.9) between Doses 2 and 3, and 65.9% (95% CI, 4.5-87.8) after infants received 3 DTaP doses.

“The results of this study demonstrate that maternal Tdap administered during pregnancy provides the best protection against pertussis, which strongly supports ACIP’s current recommendation to administer Tdap during each pregnancy,” said lead author Nicola P. Klein, MD, PhD. 

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Baxter R, Bartlett J, Fireman B, et al. Effectiveness of vaccination during pregnancy to prevent infant pertussis [published online April 3, 2017]. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-4091

This article originally appeared on MPR