CDC: More Should Get Pertussis Vaccine

ATLANTA, Oct. 14 (UPI) — Federal officials, in a report released Thursday, described the data on U.S. adult rates for the new pertussis vaccine — whooping cough — as “suboptimal.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report says the recent spike in pertussis cases across the United States underscores the importance of vaccination.

In 2008, approximately three years after being first recommended by CDC, the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine had been given to only about 5.9 percent of recommended adults. The Tdap serves as a one-time substitution for the traditional 10-year booster dose of tetanus, diphtheria (Td) vaccine, the report says.

“Vaccination with Tdap protects adults against pertussis, but can also reduce the likelihood of transmission to infants who have not completed their primary pertussis vaccination series — generally those less than 6 months of age, nine of whom have died during the current pertussis outbreak in California,” the report says.

The CDC recommends everyone ages 11 through 64 — especially healthcare personnel and adults who have contact with or care for infants — should get the Tdap booster vaccine to help protect themselves and reduce the risk of spreading pertussis to babies.

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