Infants and young children are at particular risk of contracting pertussis. The best way to prevent mortality and significant morbidity from pertussis is for physicians and other health care providers to:
- offer one dose of pertussis containing vaccine (Tdap) to pregnant women (≥26 weeks of gestation) who have not been previously vaccinated against pertussis in adulthood;
- ensure that infants and young children are immunized according to the recommended schedule;
- recommend that caregivers and close contacts of infants and young children receive a pertussis immunization.
In February of 2014 the National Advisory Committee on Immunization issued an updated statement regarding pertussis vaccination in pregnancy. Please see the attached document for further information and important links.