Tdap vaccine during pregnancy protects 9 out of 10 newborns against whooping cough: CDC 

Receiving a Tdap vaccination during the third trimester of a pregnancy provides protection against whooping cough for the first two months of the baby's life, according to a CDC study published Feb. 6 in JAMA Pediatrics.

After tracking cases of whooping cough in infants between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2019, CDC scientists found a connection between reduced cases of the highly contagious disease in babies under 2 months old and women who received a Tdap vaccine while pregnant, a CDC statement said. 

This protection is critically important because whooping cough in newborns can result in serious complications that lead to hospitalization and even death.  

Whooping cough rates in newborns have decreased since 2011, when the CDC recommended women receive a Tdap vaccine between weeks 27 and 36 of each pregnancy. The findings of this 20-year study reaffirm the CDC's maternal vaccination strategy, according to the CDC statement, which also noted more than 3 out of 4 cases of whooping cough have been prevented in newborns since pregnant women began receiving Tdap vaccinations.  

Linda Eckert, MD, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' liaison to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said the study confirms "all women should be vaccinated against whooping cough during the third trimester of pregnancy."

"Knowing that Tdap vaccination during pregnancy protects nine in 10 babies from being hospitalized with whooping cough," she said, "I strongly recommend this vaccine to all my pregnant patients for their peace of mind and for their family's health and well-being."

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