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Why vaccinate pregnant women against pertussis (whooping cough)?

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Despite routine and widespread vaccination with DTaP, pertussis remains a significant health issue. 1

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Newborns and young infants account for the majority of severe pertussis cases, hospitalizations and death due to pertussis. 23

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BOOSTRIX is indicated for booster vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis of individuals aged 4 years and older

Maternal Immunization with Tdap can help protect infants from pertussis when they are most vulnerable. 34

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Over 30 countries worldwide recommend Maternal Immunization against pertussis. 35-19

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In this section:

Public health burden

Newborns at high risk

Maternal Immunization



DTaP: diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis.
Tdap: tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine.

References :

  1. Tan T, et al. Pertussis across the globe: recent epidemiologic trends from 2000 to 2013. Pediatr Infect Dis. 2015:34:9,e222-e232.
  2. Tiwari TS, et al. First pertussis vaccine dose and prevention of infant mortality. Pediatrics. 2015;135:990-999.
  3. Gkentzi D, et al. Maternal vaccination against pertussis: a systematic review of the recent literature. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2017;102:F456-F463.
  4. CDC. Making a strong vaccine referral to pregnant women. For healthcare professionals. [accessed April 2018]; Available at:
  5. World Health Organization (WHO). WHO vaccine-preventable diseases: monitoring system. September 2017. [accessed March 2018]; Available at:
  6. ECDC. Vaccination Schedules. [accessed March 2018]; Available at:
  7. Updated recommendations for use of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) in pregnant women – Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2012. MMWR, 62(7):131-135.
  8. Public Health England (PHE). Health Protection Report. 2016;10(18).
  9. World Health Organization (WHO). Pertussis vaccines: WHO position paper – September 2015. Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 2015;90(35):433-458.
  10. Public Health Agency of Canada. Canadian Immunization Guide. Part 3-Vaccination of specific populations. [accessed May 2018]; Available at:
  11. Health Council of the Netherlands. Executive Summary – Vaccination against pertussis: aims and strategy. [accessed March 2018]; Available at:
  12. Singapore Ministry of Health. National Adult Immunisation Schedule – Recommendations for adult vaccinations. MoH Circular 23/2017. [accessed March 2018]; Available at:
  13. Choi WS, et al. Revised adult immunization guideline recommended by the Korean Society of Infectious Diseases, 2014. Infect Chemother. 2015;47(1):68-79.
  14. Vashishtha VM, et al. Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) recommended immunization schedule for children aged 0 through 18 years—India, 2014 and updates on immunization. Indian Pediatr. 2014;51(10):785-800.
  15. Filipino Drug Reference System. Adult Immunization Schedule (2015). [accessed March 2018]; Available at:
  16. Slovenian National Institute of Public Health. Instructions for implementing immunization program 2017. [accessed March 2018]; Available at:
  17. Qatar – MOPH. Tdap vaccine recommendations for pregnant women. Issued Feb 2017.
  18. Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare. Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Group 103. [accessed March 2018]; Available at:
  19. Thailand – Recommended Adult and Elderly Immunization Schedule, 2561. Infectious Disease of Thailand, 2018.