Monday, February 21, 2011

Adult vaccines in pregnant women

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.
Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a "whooping" sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.
The best way to protect against pertussis is immunization. (CDC)
Pertussis is on the rise with adult immunity at only 6%.  Read the updated recommendation by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) regarding the new Tdap vaccine here.  Listen to the sounds of pertussis here
"'To help protect infants too young to be vaccinated, women should ideally receive Tdap before becoming pregnant. If a pregnant woman is at increased risk for contracting pertussis, such as during a community outbreak, you may want to consider Tdap during pregnancy since it's not contraindicated. New moms who have not received Tdap should routinely receive a dose immediately postpartum, before leaving the hospital or birthing center.
In most cases, pertussis in infants is acquired from a family member. Imagine how devastating it would be for a mom to give her baby pertussis. Keep in mind that Tdap is not just for postpartum moms, it's for all family members and caregivers of the infant." (CDC expert advisory posted on Medscape)

The Pregnancy Risk Line tells us that they recommend the Tdap vaccine (adult form of tetanus, diptheria and pertussis) in pregnant women if you're due for this.  The CDC confirms that pregnancy is not a contraindication for the vaccine but some women prefer to wait until their last trimester to get it.  If you wait until after delivery your baby won't have the immediate passive immunity and you would be at risk to get pertussis and then passing it on to your child.  What is most important is that moms get it in the immediate postpartum period if not previously.  Talk to your doctor or midwife about this at your next visit.  While you're at it, get a flu shot if you haven't already, regardless of what stage of pregnancy you are in. It's still flu season and pregnant women are at high risk for complications of influenza.
"Situations with increased risk for pertussis: Healthcare providers can choose to administer Tdap instead of Td to protect against pertussis in pregnant adolescents for routine or "catch-up" vaccination because the incidence of pertussis is high among adolescents, in pregnant healthcare personnel and child care providers to prevent transmission to infants younger than 12 months of age and to other vulnerable persons, and in pregnant women employed in an institution or living in a community with increased pertussis activity." (CDC)
The pertussis vaccine is included in the usual immunization schedule for children (Dtap)so if your kids have had their shots, they're probably covered.  Other adults are probably not since this vaccine for adults and teens is new on the scene.  It is important for the adults (grandparents, older siblings, parents, etc.) to be protected so they don't pass this nasty disease on to those without such immunity, including those whose immune system is suppressed as with cancer treatment, those who are unable to develop immunity for unknown reasons, and those newborns too young to have protection through the full vaccination series.  This vaccine also includes protection from tetanus (recommended at least every 10 years for adults) and the combined vaccine can be given even if Tetanus vaccine was received more recently.

Pregnancy Risk Line - calls taken Monday through Thursday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  
Leave message if line is busy and they will return your call that day. 
Toll-free outside SLC area 800-822-2229
Salt Lake area 801-328-2229
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1 comment:

  1. During pregnancy we need to keep proper health of the pregnant lady and she must consult here doctor in proper timing which can easily be help to maintain her health.


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