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Prevention of Pertussis, Tetanus, and Diphtheria Among Pregnant, Postpartum Women, and Infants


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 - p 498–509
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31824f3b38
Prevention of Infection in the Obstetric Patient

Pertussis disease in the United States has been increasing since 1976 and many states are reporting epidemics. Pertussis is more severe in infants less than 3 months of age and is characterized by high hospital admission rates, apnea of the infant. The CDC recommends that Tdap be administered to all pregnant women after the 20th week of gestation to provide pertussis antibodies to the fetus which will offer protection against pertussis disease. Tdap is highly immunogenetic in the pregnant women and has an excellent safety profile. Tdap given to the postpartum patient and her cocoon family is an alternative strategy.

Gynecology & Women’s Health, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

The author declares that there is nothing to disclose.

Correspondence: Stanley A. Gall, MD, FACOG, Gynecology & Women’s Health, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.