In the Journals

Many pregnant women fail to receive Tdap vaccination

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July 20, 2015

An Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation that pregnant women receive Tdap vaccine led to a spike in vaccinations among Wisconsin residents, but it lasted less than 1 year, according to research published in MMWR.

“On Feb. 22, 2013, the [ACIP] revised recommendations for vaccination of pregnant women to recommend [Tdap] during every pregnancy, optimally at 27-36 weeks of gestation, to prevent pertussis among their newborns,” Ruth Koepke, MPH, researcher, department of pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and colleagues wrote. “Tdap vaccination among pregnant women increased but plateaued at rates similar to influenza vaccination rates.”

The researchers examined data from the Wisconsin Health Information Organization Datamart of women aged 11 to 44 years (n = 40,054) who gave birth between January 2013 and March 2014. Vaccinations up to 40 weeks before delivery were considered vaccinated for pregnancy.

Among the cohort, 35% received Tdap during the study period. This figure rose from 13.8% in January 2013 to about 52% in November 2013, but plateaued and was at 51% for March 2014 deliveries. Among the women who received Tdap vaccination during pregnancy, 63.1% were vaccinated from 2 to 13 weeks before delivery in January 2013; this rate increased to 90.9% for March 2014 deliveries.

Almost 39% of the overall cohort was vaccinated for influenza, but nearly 50% of vaccinations occurred in those who gave birth from November 2013 to March 2014. Women who received Tdap and influenza vaccines increased from less than 10% for those delivering in January 2013, to 34.7% for November 2013 to March 2014 deliveries.

Although vaccination rates improved during the study, the researchers said there is more room for improvement and greater compliance to suggestions that both vaccinations be received during pregnancy.

“Prenatal care providers should implement, evaluate, and improve Tdap and influenza vaccination programs, and strongly recommend that pregnant patients receive these vaccines to prevent severe illness and complications among mothers and infants,” Koepke and colleagues wrote. “These findings indicate that despite the rapid implementation of Tdap vaccination among pregnant women in Wisconsin, many pregnant women did not receive both recommended vaccines, including women who demonstrated a willingness to receive at least one other vaccine during pregnancy.”– by David Jwanier

Disclosure: Infectious Disease News was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.

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