Fewer ba­bies get per­tus­sis from vac­ci­nated moms

Study: Third trimester most ef­fec­tive for shots

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - HEALTH - By Lisa Ra­pa­port

Vac­ci­nat­ing moth­ers against whoop­ing cough dur­ing preg­nancy might pre­vent 9 out of 10 se­vere cases of this po­ten­tially fa­tal res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tion in their ba­bies, a U.S. study sug­gests.

For the study, re­searchers ex­am­ined data on 251 in­fants who de­vel­oped whoop­ing cough be­fore 2 months of age and a con­trol group of 537 ba­bies who didn’t catch per­tus­sis as new­borns.

Over­all, re­searchers es­ti­mate that giv­ing preg­nant women the Tdap booster vac­cine for te­tanus, diph­the­ria and per­tus­sis pre­vented about 78 cases of whoop­ing cough in their ba­bies for every 100 moth­ers vac­ci­nated. The vac­cine ef­fec­tive­ness rate was 90 per­cent when re­searchers looked only at se­vere cases re­quir­ing hos­pi­tal­iza­tion.

“Our eval­u­a­tion adds to the grow­ing body of ev­i­dence that vac­ci­na­tion dur­ing preg­nancy is ef­fec­tive at pro­tect­ing in­fants from whoop­ing cough in the early months of life, a pe­riod when in­fants are more likely to have se­vere or even deadly whoop­ing cough in­fec­tions,” said lead study au­thor Tami Skoff of the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion in At­lanta.

Health of­fi­cials in many coun­tries rec­om­mend vac­ci­na­tion dur­ing preg­nancy, as well as a se­ries of three shots for in­fants start­ing some­time be­tween ages 6 weeks and 3 months. Some coun­tries also rec­om­mend that women get vac­ci­nated dur­ing each preg­nancy be­cause ef­fec­tive­ness of the shot wanes over time.

In early 2013, the CDC rec­om­mended that all preg­nant women get the Tdap shot, re­gard­less of whether they pre­vi­ously had re­ceived this vac­cine.

The study ex­am­ined data col­lected from 2011 through 2014 in Cal­i­for­nia, Con­necti­cut, Min­nesota, New Mex­ico, New York and Ore­gon. Re­searchers com­pared records on ba­bies with whoop­ing cough to records for sim­i­lar ba­bies who were born at the same hos­pi­tal but didn’t con­tract per­tus­sis.

Most of the women who got vac­ci­nated re­ceived their shots dur­ing the third trimester of preg­nancy, and the vac­cine was 78 per­cent ef­fec­tive at pre­vent­ing whoop­ing cough for their ba­bies, the study team re­ports in Clin­i­cal In­fec­tious Dis­eases, on­line Sept. 28.

When women got vac­ci­nated in the sec­ond trimester, the vac­cine was 64 per­cent ef­fec­tive.

When women got the vac­cine at any point prior to preg­nancy, the shot was 51 per­cent ef­fec­tive at pre­vent­ing in­fant per­tus­sis, the study also found.

One lim­i­ta­tion of the study is that most women who got vac­ci­nated re­ceived their shots around the same time, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to pin­point mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ences in vac­cine ef­fec­tive­ness based on when dur­ing preg­nancy vac­ci­na­tion oc­curred, the au­thors note.


A new U.S. study finds vac­ci­na­tions dur­ing preg­nancy are very ef­fec­tive at pre­vent­ing whoop­ing cough in ba­bies.

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