No Congenital Defects Found With TDAP Vaccine During Pregnancy Interview with:

Malini B. DeSilva, MD, MPH Clinician Investigator HealthPartners Institute

Dr. Malini B. DeSilva

Malini B. DeSilva, MD, MPH
Clinician Investigator
HealthPartners Institute What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This is a retrospective study of more than 324,000 live births at seven Vaccine Safety Datalink sites between 2007 and 2013 which showed that the Tdap vaccine in pregnant mothers was not associated with increased risk for microcephaly or other major birth defects in their offspring. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) be administered during every pregnancy between 27 and 36 weeks gestation. In our study, we found no association between the Tdap vaccination given at any time during pregnancy and major congenital defects in infants. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Tdap vaccination is recommended to be received during every pregnancy. It is important to continue monitoring the safety of this vaccine as well as other vaccines recommended during pregnancy. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: With increased instances in the U.S. of Zika infection which can cause microcephaly, it is important to have evidence that Tdap does not cause microcephaly because coincidental occurrence of microcephaly may be observed after Tdap vaccination Thank you for your contribution to the community.


DeSilva M, Vazquez-Benitez G, Nordin JD, Lipkind HS, Romitti PA, DeStefano F, Kharbanda EO. Tdap Vaccination During Pregnancy and Microcephaly and Other Structural Birth Defects in Offspring. JAMA.2016;316(17):1823-1825. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14432

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on November 3, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD