known as whooping cough) is a serious, easily transmitted infection that
causes severe and violent coughing episodes. The infection primarily
affects adolescents and adults, but it can cause severe morbidity and
death to young infants who are too young to be immunized. It is often
transmitted by family members. In the policy statement, “Additional
Recommendations for Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced-Content Diphtheria
Toxoid, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine (Tdap),” in the October 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published
online Sept. 26), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revise previous
recommendations for the use of the Tdap vaccine in children and adults.
There is no longer any minimum interval between receiving a tetanus or
diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine and Tdap when given a short time
apart. The AAP advises a single dose of Tdap should be administered
to children 7 through 10 years of age who were underimmunized or who
have an incomplete vaccine history. The AAP continues to recommend
vaccination of adolescents, including pregnant adolescents. Pregnant
women should also receive the vaccine. A single dose should be given
to adults who have contact with infants, even if they are older than
65, and for health care workers of any age.
The American Academy of
Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians,
pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists
dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children,
adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.