Vol 92, No 8 (2021)
Review paper
Published online: 2021-08-16

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Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy — current data on safety and effectiveness

Monika Zasztowt-Sternicka12, Anna M. Jagielska1, Aneta S. Nitsch-Osuch1
Pubmed: 34541632
Ginekol Pol 2021;92(8):591-594.


Whooping cough/pertussis is a respiratory infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified whooping cough as one of the least controlled diseases in all age groups. Clinically, the catarrhal phase manifests itself as flu-like, nonspecific symptoms: cough, runny nose, mild fever, which, regrettably, makes early diagnosis difficult. The severe course is more specific (an audible inspiratory whoop followed by paroxysmal cough and vomiting). Currently, in Poland the highest percentage of cases is observed in children aged 0–4 years, followed by children over 15 years of age, with peaks among teens and seniors. Notably, hospitalization, morbidity and mortality rates are considerable in children (especially infants). Vaccinating pregnant women against pertussis provides approximately 90% protection to infants in their first two months of life. It is an effective form of preventing pertussis in infants. Moreover, it is safe for pregnant women and their children. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends Tdap vaccination to every pregnant woman between 27–36 weeks of pregnancy.

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