It's November, when rates of upper respiratory infection tends to rise. Everyone is tuned into the idea of getting a flu shot. Most people know that it's especially important for pregnant women. But did you know that the TDAP is now given in the latter part of pregnancy ?
TDAP vaccination has been proven safe and effective for prevention of pertussis. TDAP stands for tetanus diphtheria and PERTUSSIS, otherwise known as whooping cough. A relatively recent recommendation is to give it between 27 and 36 weeks of gestation. We don't wait until the end of pregnancy since we want there to be enough time for mom to create protective antibodies to pass to baby. That way, baby is protected against pertussis from the moment of birth.
In other vaccine related news, the HPV vaccine rates are still lower than they should be. HPV stands for human papilloma virus, and it is cause of genital warts and cervical cancer. HPV vaccination should be given to both boys and girls around age 11-12. It is given in three doses over 6 months, and is very well tolerated. It can be given until 26 years of age. A recent report indicated that states with high vaccination rates have low cervical cancer rates, and visa versa. This is some of the first longer term data emerging from the HPV vaccine experience. Happily it is preventing disease as well as expected. We have just got to do more to promote its adoption.
Source: Medline Plus from the National Library of Medicine.