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Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal:
4. Immunization Strategies for Pertussis

Potential Strategies to Reduce the Burden of Pertussis

Forsyth, Kevin MD, PhD*; Tan, Tina MD†‡; von König, Carl-Heinz Wirsing MD§; Caro, J Jaime MDCM, FRCPC, FACP∥; Plotkin, Stanley MD¶#

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Abstract

Pertussis continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among nonimmunized young infants. Although the inception of childhood pertussis immunization programs has significantly reduced the occurrence of the disease in children, waning vaccine-induced immunity permits the disease to affect adolescents and adults, who in turn transmit the disease to unimmunized or incompletely immunized infants. The Global Pertussis Initiative brought together experts from 17 countries around the world to evaluate strategies to improve disease control. Seven strategies were considered: (1) universal adult immunization; (2) selective immunization of mothers and close family contacts of newborns; (3) selective immunization of health care workers; (4) selective immunization of child care workers; (5) universal immunization of adolescents; (6) preschool booster at 4–6 years of age; and (7) reinforcement and/or improvement of current infant and toddler immunization strategies. Because immunization programs vary widely from country to country, no single strategy is likely to be appropriate for all. Moreover it would be helpful to have additional data to support the strategies and provide a better understanding of the disease so that new approaches can be monitored effectively. However, certain steps can be taken now to reduce the incidence of pertussis.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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