October 21, 2013
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Infant pertussis hospitalizations decreased adolescent vaccinations

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Adolescent vaccination with tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine can reduce pertussis incidence among infants, according to recent study findings published in Pediatrics.

The study included data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample to compare predicted pertussis hospitalization rates before adolescent vaccination (2000 to 2005) with expected pertussis hospitalization rates after adolescent vaccination (2008 to 2011).

Researchers found that pertussis hospitalization incidence in 2000 was 5.82 discharges per 10,000 infant population (95% CI, 4.51-7.13) in 2000. During the years before adolescent Tdap vaccination the rate increased by a mean of 0.64 pertussis discharges per 10,000 infants per year (P=.004). Observed infant hospitalization rates for pertussis were lower than expected in 2008, 2009 and 2011. However, in 2010 there were no significant differences between observed and expected rates.

Katherine Auger, MD 

Katherine A. Auger

“We know infants get pertussis from family members, including older siblings,” Katherine A. Auger, MD, MSc, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital said in a press release. “While it is encouraging to find a modest reduction in infant hospitalizations after the vaccination of adolescents began, there were still more than 1,000 infants hospitalized for pertussis in 2011. Expecting parents should discuss with their doctors the need for vaccination of all caregivers before the birth of a baby.”

Disclosure: Auger reports receiving financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the Clinical Scholars Program.