The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released reports addressing the continued importance of vaccination for children and adults.
The first study examined data from the CDC and found that in recent years, siblings were the largest source of pertussis infections in infants. Siblings comprised about a third (35.5%) of the sources of pertussis infection (SOI), along with less than a quarter of mothers (20.6%) and 10.0% of fathers, Tami H. Skoff, MS, of the CDC, and colleagues reported in Pediatrics.
Skoff told MedPage Today that while the majority of children and adolescents have been vaccinated with tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Tdap; around 85% among adolescents to 96% among children), coverage remains low among adults (less than 15%). She added that it was particularly important for mothers to receive the vaccine in order to protect their infants.
“Our biggest takeaway message is the emphasis on maternal vaccination during pregnancy, so they can pass protection on to their infants during the first few months of life,” Skoff said. “Children don’t begin getting vaccinated against pertussis until 2 months of age, so that leaves that window where they’re unprotected, and this is the period where we see the most infant deaths.”