Fewer Infant Hospitalizations for Whooping Cough after Tdap Universal Recommendation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with
Katherine Auger, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Hospital Medicine
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Auger: We examined hospitalization rates in infants for pertussis before versus after the recommendation to universally vaccinate all adolescents with Tdap.  We used mathematical modeling to predict the number of infant hospitalizations that would be expected without the Tdap vaccine policy.  We then compared these predicted numbers to the actual observed numbers of infant hospitalizations.  In 3 of the 4 years after Tdap vaccine policy, there were significantly fewer infant hospitalizations for pertussis than expected base on the predictions.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Auger: Pertussis incidence in the US has been on the rise since the mid 1980s.  Our findings are among the first to suggest that the vaccination efforts may be protecting infants, who are most prone to life-threatening pertussis, from severe disease requiring hospitalization.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?  

Dr. Auger: Vaccinating adolescents and caregivers may help reduce the number of hospitalizations for pertussis in infants.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Auger: Vaccine policy has been expanded further since the 2006 adolescent recommendation.  In 2012, the CDC recommended women to be vaccinated during each pregnancy.  Future studies are warranted to determine if this policy may further impact infant pertussis hospitalization rates.


Infant Hospitalizations for Pertussis Before and After Tdap Recommendations for Adolescents

Katherine A. Auger, Stephen W. Patrick, and Matthew M. Davis

Pediatrics peds.2013-1747; published ahead of print October 21, 2013, doi:10.1542/peds.2013-1747