The tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) provides critical protection from these three potentially-fatal illnesses. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that vaccinations are responsible for reducing the number of instances of tetanus and diphtheria in the United States by approximately 99 percent, and for reducing cases of pertussis by about 80 percent.
While the CDC recommends against the administration of certain vaccinations during pregnancy, the Tdap vaccine is one that is strongly recommended for pregnant women (subject to individual health circumstances). The CDC’s adult vaccination schedule indicates that women ages 19 and older should receive the Tdap vaccination once and then receive a Td booster shot once every ten years.
Recent data from the CDC also indicate that more women are receiving the Tdap vaccination during pregnancy than in years past. From 2014 to 2016, the rate of immunization against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis nearly doubled, from 27 percent of pregnant women to 48.8 percent. Overall rates of Tdap vaccination have increased as well, though the percentage of women receiving the Tdap vaccine prior to pregnancy has slightly declined.
Why Does the CDC Recommend the Tdap Vaccine During Pregnancy?
The primary reason that the CDC recommends the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy is its effectiveness in preventing pertussis, or “whooping cough,” among newborns. As reported by Reuters Health earlier this year:
Babies are much less likely to get whooping cough if their mothers get vaccinated against the potentially fatal respiratory infection during pregnancy, and a U.S. study finds that a growing number of women are starting to follow this advice. . . About half of babies under age 1 year who catch pertussis require hospitalization for serious complications like pneumonia or brain disorders.”
Similarly, the CDC states that:
“The best way to protect infants who are too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough, is for their mothers to get a tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination during pregnancy. Infants whose mothers get a Tdap vaccination while pregnant have a lower risk of getting whooping cough and related complications early in life.”
Among the mothers questioned in a recent CDC survey, nearly half (48.6 percent) said that they did not get the Tdap vaccine either: (i) because they did not know it was needed during pregnancy, or (ii) they did not receive a specific recommendation from a doctor or nurse.
Women who are pregnant should speak with their doctors about the vaccines and other medicines that are appropriate to take during pregnancy. Women who receive vaccinations during pregnancy should also be aware of the risks of vaccine-related illnesses and shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). These illnesses and injuries can have potentially-serious complications, and it is important to know whether symptoms are related to pregnancy or a potential side effect from Tdap or another immunization.
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If you have questions about vaccine injuries or the compensation that is available to individuals who have been diagnosed with SIRVA and other vaccine-related medical conditions, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. To speak with vaccine attorney Leah V. Durant in confidence, please call (202) 800-1711 or send us your information online today.
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Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.