Is it time to vaccine pregnant woman against pertussis?

Pertussis may cause death in neonates and very young infants. In these ages pertussis vaccine has not been administered yet or infants haven’t received enough doses of vaccine to protect them. Cocoon strategy have been implemented in several countries and has limited efficacy because of low coverage among households. In vaccinated pregnant women transplacental transfer of pertussis antibodies starts at 32-34 weeks of pregnancy. United Kingdom, The United States of America and afterward other countries in Europe and America have adopted this strategy. Recent British research about security and effectiveness of pertussis vaccination in pregnant women to reduce pertussis incidence and fatality cases in neonate and very young infants infant support this strategy despite the fact that controlled studies about the efficacy and security in mothers and neonates have not been published. Several studies still not published or in progress are trying to answer these two questions and to evaluate possible interference between transplacentaly transferred pertussis antibodies and infants immune response to routine vaccines. Recently WHO has recommended pertussis vaccination during pregnancy in countries where neonatal pertussis is a public health problem. Nowadays, Chilean experts discuss if pertussis vaccination of pregnant women must be adopted in our country.

Author:Cofré J.
Journal:Rev Chilena Infectol. 2016