Moms-to-be add one more vaccine to your list. The CDC published a study in the “Clinical Infectious Diseases” journal last week. Women in their third trimester of pregnancy who got a Tdap vaccine were able to give their babies immunization against whooping cough during the first two months of life before their babies can be immunized themselves.
The study looked at data from 2011 through 2014 on babies younger than two months in six states. The data showed that the vaccine given to their mothers in the third trimester prevented 78 percent of potential whooping cough cases in these babies.
The CDC also estimates that only about 49 percent of women who had a baby between fall of 2015 and spring of 2016 got the vaccine during their third trimester.
Since 2012, the CDC has recommended that women in their third trimester, specifically in weeks 27 to 36, get the vaccine even if they have already had the vaccine previously and they do it with each pregnancy.
Whooping cough is a serious illness before age 1 with 65 percent of cases requiring hospitalization. Between five and 15 babies die each year in the U.S. from the illness. It’s also recommended that anyone who is going to come in contact with that infant (dad, grandma, grandpa, siblings) also be vaccinated.
The Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (whooping cough).