Why get a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster vaccination during pregnancy?
Protect you and your baby from Whooping Cough (pertussis)
You can help to protect your unborn child against whooping cough during the first weeks of life by having a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster vaccination while you are pregnant.1-3 Up to 6 months old, newborns are at risk for increased morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases such as whooping cough as they are unable to generate an effective immune response.
4-6 Getting a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster vaccination during pregnancy will help protect you and your baby against pertussis at
the same time.
1-2 It is also important that any close family members and carers who will have contact with your baby are also protected against whooping cough.7,8 Make sure that they receive the vaccine at least 2 weeks before they meet your baby.7,8
How does a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster vaccination work during pregnancy and what are the benefits?
Vaccinating pregnant women with a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster vaccine helps to directly protect them and their babies against whooping cough as the mothers’ antibodies are transferred to the baby through the placenta.1,6,9
At birth, this protection continues, and the antibodies developed during pregnancy help protect newborns from whooping cough during their first weeks of life – before they receive their first vaccines.3,9 Getting vaccinated during pregnancy is one of the best decisions you can make to protect both you and your baby from whooping cough.1
What are the risks if you don’t get vaccinated during pregnancy?
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease which can affect people of all ages, even life-threatening, for babies less than one year old.10 It is spread easily by coughing or sneezing and can cause violent coughing and is particularly severe during the first months of life when babies are too young to be vaccinated.1,6,9,10
Whooping cough in newborns can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia, brain damage and in the most severe cases, death.1,3,5,10,11 A tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster vaccination also provides protection against tetanus and diphtheria.12 Protect against pertussis and two other diseases in only one injection!
When should you get vaccinated?
It is recommended to take the vaccine during your 2nd and 3rd trimester and may be taken at the same time as the influenza vaccine.1,2,9,12
You should consider taking the vaccine during each pregnancy, even if you have already been vaccinated in the past.2
Don’t miss an opportunity to strengthen both you and your baby’s immunity, speak to your doctor about a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis booster vaccination during pregnancy.12
- Marshall H, McMillan M, Andrews RM, Macartney K, Edwards K. Vaccines in pregnancy: The dual benefit for pregnant women and infants. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2016;12(4):848-856.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccinating pregnant patients. https://www.cdc. gov/pertussis/pregnant/hcp/ pregnantpatients.html. Accessed March, 03 2020.
- Winter K, Nickell S, Powell M, Harriman K. Effectiveness of Prenatal Versus Postpartum Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccination in Preventing Infant Pertussis. Clin Infect Dis. 2017;64(1):3-8.
- Munoz FM, Bond NH, Maccato M, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of tetanus diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) immunization during pregnancy in mothers and infants: a randomized clinical trial. Jama. 2014;311(17):1760-1769.
- Straney L, Schibler A, Ganeshalingham A, et al. Burden and Outcomes of Severe
Pertussis Infection in Critically Ill Infants. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016;17(8):735-742.
- CDC. Prevention of Pertussis, Tetanus, and Diphtheria with Vaccines in the United States. MMWR. 2018;67(2):1–44.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnancy and Whooping Cough. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/pregnant/mom/protection.html. Last update: January 10, 2017. Last Accessed March 2020.
- Quinn HE, Snelling TL, Habig A, Chiu C, Spokes PJ, McIntyre PB. Parental Tdap boosters and infant pertussis: a case-control study. Pediatrics 2014;134(4):713–720.
- Gall SA, Myers J, Pichichero M. Maternal immunization with tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccine: effect on maternal and neonatal serum antibody levels. Am J Obstet Gynecol.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pertussis (Whooping Cough). www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html. Accessed January, 24, 2020.
- CDC. For Parents: Vaccines For Your Children. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/diseases/child/pertussis.html. Accessed February 28, 2020.
- Adacel approved Professional information, November 2020.
Reading Time: 4 minutesIt is fairly impossible to write a generalised medical article about prematurity. Every prem baby has a different story, a different path …