I am a family physician who also performs obstetrics. And, as such, I keep up with pregnancy-related updates, too. There is a new indication for the TdaP (Tetanus with pertussis) vaccine.
- Pregnant women in their third trimester. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (the two organizations who review vaccine practices) suggest the TdaP vaccine to be given during pregnancy instead of afterwards. This TdaP vaccine is intended to prevent tetanus AND pertussis (whooping-cough) in the mothers and their newborns. The TdaP vaccine should replace one dose of Td (tetanus) and preferably be given in the late second or third trimester (meaning after 20 weeks into the pregnancy).
- Adolescents and adults in contact with infants younger than one year. This is in response to a recent pertussis outbreak with hospitalizations and deaths in young children.
- For adults who are due for their every-ten-year tetanus vaccine. Once as an adult a TdaP (tetanus with pertussis) vaccine should be given instead of the Td (tetanus alone).
And, yes, the vaccination of pregnant women for Tdap is thought to be safe for
both mother and fetus.
So, consider getting a vaccine while pregnant or if you have contact with a child under the age of one–to keep you both safe and healthy.
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