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Prevention of pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria among pregnant and postpartum women and their infants recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
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  • Corporate Authors:
    Division of Bacterial Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. tkm4@cdc.gov
  • Description:
    In 2005, two tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccines were licensed and recommended for use in adults and adolescents in the United States: ADACEL (sanofi pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania), which is licensed for use in persons aged 11--64 years, and BOOSTRIX (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Rixensart, Belgium), which is licensed for use in persons aged 10-18 years. Both Tdap vaccines are licensed for single-dose use to add protection against pertussis and to replace the next dose of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Td). Available evidence does not address the safety of Tdap for pregnant women, their fetuses, or pregnancy outcomes sufficiently. Available data also do not indicate whether Tdap-induced transplacental maternal antibodies provide early protection against pertussis to infants or interfere with an infant's immune responses to routinely administered pediatric vaccines. Until additional information is available, CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that pregnant women who were not vaccinated previously with Tdap: 1) receive Tdap in the immediate postpartum period before discharge from hospital or birthing center, 2) may receive Tdap at an interval as short as 2 years since the most recent Td vaccine, 3) receive Td during pregnancy for tetanus and diphtheria protection when indicated, or 4) defer the Td vaccine indicated during pregnancy to substitute Tdap vaccine in the immediate postpartum period if the woman is likely to have sufficient protection against tetanus and diphtheria. Although pregnancy is not a contraindication for receiving Tdap vaccine, health-care providers should weigh the theoretical risks and benefits before choosing to administer Tdap vaccine to a pregnant woman. This report 1) describes the clinical features of pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria among pregnant and postpartum women and their infants, 2) reviews available evidence of pertussis vaccination during pregnancy as a strategy to prevent infant pertussis, 3) summarizes Tdap vaccination policy in the United States, and 4) presents recommendations for use of Td and Tdap vaccines among pregnant and postpartum women.

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