Recent research in Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics determined that the use of Tdap vaccine during pregnancy was safe for women and infants.
“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that the Tdap vaccine is safe for pregnant women and their unborn children,” Abbey B. Berenson, MD, PhD, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said in a press release. “It’s important for women to get the Tdap vaccine while they are pregnant to protect their infants from pertussis.”
To determine the effects of Tdap vaccination on maternal and infant health, the researchers studied medical records of 1,759 women who gave birth to a singleton at a Texas hospital between 2012 and 2014. Women who received inadequate prenatal care or delivered before 27 weeks’ gestation were excluded from the study. Berenson and colleagues measured 13 maternal outcomes, including chorioamnionitis, postpartum endometritis, preterm delivery, premature rupture of membranes, induced labor and method of delivery. Seven infant outcomes also were measured, including low birth weight, very low birth weight, small for gestational age, 5-minute Apgar score, birth defects and neonatal ICU admission. All measures were compared between study participants who did not receive Tdap (n = 650) and those who did (n = 1,109).
Study results showed no significant differences in maternal or infant measures between recipients and nonrecipients of Tdap. The researchers noted that the only significant difference reported during the study period was a decreased likelihood of cesarean delivery among mothers who received Tdap; however, they said these results were unlikely to be directly related to Tdap vaccination.
“Newborns don’t receive their first dose of DTaP until they are 2 months old and aren’t fully protected until they are 6 months old,” Berenson said. “Therefore, it is extremely important to protect newborns from pertussis in other ways. Maternal immunization is one way to help protect them because the antibodies that the mom generates in response to the vaccine can be passed to her unborn child. These maternal antibodies can provide short-term protection to newborns.” – by David Costill
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.