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May 7, 2014

Maternal Pertussis ImmunizationCan It Help Infants?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA. 2014;311(17):1736-1737. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3555

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease that is preventable by vaccination. However, the incidence of whooping cough has increased despite having high vaccine coverage rates in the United States.1 Infants younger than 12 months are especially susceptible to pertussis, and those younger than 2 months—too young to start their diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccination series—represent many of the pertussis cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.2

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