*Update* -- Note that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted on October 27, 2010, for new recommendations regarding Tdap vaccination. For more information, see our blog post "Advisory Committee Votes for Expanded Pertussis Vaccine Recommendations." -- HOV StaffGuest Post by Andreas Bollmann, MD, PhD, FAAP Pediatric Associates Inc.
Since December 2006, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended the use of Tdap (tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, acellular pertussis vaccine) instead of Td (tetanus and diphtheria toxoid immunization) during adolescence and at least once during adulthood.
Most adults don’t worry about whooping cough (also known as pertussis). Once a patient has moved on from a pediatrician’s care, this disease usually falls off everybody’s radar.
In fact, vaccination rates among adults in the United States against pertussis are estimated to be very low.
Studies show that about 75% of pertussis infections among babies are contracted from household members. Pertussis cases reported from 2000 to 2003 have risen (and it is likely they are even higher, since only a small percentage of cases are actually reported). From 2000-2004, 92 deaths occurred in infants (12 month of age and younger) in the United States. From 2004-2005, 66 deaths occurred. And just recently, California health officials reported that pertussis cases so far in 2010 have more than doubled from the same period in 2009. Already this year in California, four infants have died from the disease. More