Thursday, February 17, 2011

What in the World is Tdap?

What in the world is Tdap? It's an immunization for tetanus- diphtheria-acellular pertussis. The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice is recommending that all women who are planning to get pregnant or who have just given birth ( even breast feeders ) receive the single adult formulation booster. We have all gotten ( or should have ) vaccines as children. Adults do need tetanus every ten years but now we need a booster to protect our newborns from pertussis which is whooping cough.

There is a decided rise in cases of whooping cough being recorded. Mothers, fathers and siblings are sources for the infection in new babies. Like all disease that can be avoided or eradicated by immunization, whooping cough should be a non-issue. Expect to get a Tdap postpartum and if you know that you are planning a pregnancy, the CDC recommends the immunization before conceiving.

It is still best to get vaccines derived from live viruses six months before a pregnancy for measles, mumps, rubella, Lyme's disease and chickenpox. Now Tdap. If you are injured and need tetanus protection, it is allowed while pregnant. Not routine but allowed as well, when circumstance dictates are Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, rabies, Pneumococcal pneumonia and polio. Flu shots, seasonally, are always considered an exception to the way before or four months after conception rule. Always safer than the flu.

The CDC continues to have great information on their website and they do answer their phones too.