CDC advises all pregnant women to get whooping cough vaccine
All pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday. The combined vaccine protects against whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus and diphtheria.
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices says the vaccine is safe for pregnant women, and disease-fighting antibodies can transfer to the unborn baby to provide protection against whooping cough early in life.
- Whooping cough vaccine found to wane in effectiveness after age 6
- Whooping cough vaccines should be given to all adults, gov't panel says
- Whooping cough outbreak: How to keep kids safe
That's important, officials say, given whooping cough's prevalence this year. In April a whooping cough epidemic was declared in Washington State, and to date there have been 4,387 cases reported. More than 3,800 cases have also been reported in Minnesota, nearly 5,000 have been reported in Wisconsin, and Colorado has seen nearly 1,100 cases of pertussis.
In total 32,000 whooping cough cases have occurred this year including 16 deaths, on track to be the most infected with the disease in one year since 1959.
The return of whooping cough
The committee voted 14 to zero with one abstention to make the recommendation. The only other vaccine the panel recommends for pregnant women is for influenza.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease caused by bacteria that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing. Because it can be difficult to breathe, those with the disease make a "whooping" sound when they inhale, leading to the illness' commonly known name. Infants are especially affected by the disease and need to be monitored in case they stop breathing.
In February, it voted that all U.S. adults should get at least one dose of Tdap vaccine -- including those 65 and older - to prevent teens and adults from spreading the disease to infants, what's referred to as "herd immunity."
The CDC has more on vaccines for pregnant women.
Popular in Health
- Feet come first when it comes to body parts with most fungi
- Mysterious respiratory disease infects 7 in Ala., 2 dead
- Airway made by 3D printer saves infant's life
- Almost all states seeing big drop in teen birth rates
- Skin cancer self-exam: What to look for (PHOTOS)
- "Clouds" singer known for viral hit dies from osteosarcoma
- Surgeons remove 4-pound hairball from tiger 10 Photos
- Heartburn raises throat cancer risk but antacids may help