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Pertussis vaccines for adults

Adolescents and some adults should be revaccinated against pertussis, to decrease the risk of transmission to infants.

Pertussis vaccines for adults

Adolescents and some adults should be revaccinated against pertussis, to decrease the risk of transmission to infants.Pertussis or whooping cough is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria.Researchers from the Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia analysed the trend of the disease and investigated alternatives to improve disease control through expanded vaccination strategies.
According to the findings, as many as 32 per cent of adolescents and adults with a coughing illness lasting one to two weeks or longer have pertussis, but the largest risk is for infants, especially those not fully vaccinated.Fading immunity levels indicate the risk of pertussis in older individuals vaccinated in childhood. Hence, current vaccination strategies need to be reinforced. Expanded vaccination should include adding booster doses to existing childhood schedules (preschool or adolescent) and booster doses for those specific adult subgroups that have the highest risk of transmitting B. pertussis infection to infants, which include new parents, other contacts of newborns, and health care workers.Researchers recommend a variety of region-specific approaches. For example, in North America vaccination of all adolescents and adults would foster lifelong immunity to pertussis infection.In Europe, adding booster vaccinations for preschoolers and adolescents and selective vaccination of health care workers appears more appropriate. In Australia, Argentina, and Japan, vaccination of all adolescents could reduce illness in adolescents and young adults.However, as a prelude to universal adult vaccination, immediate universal adolescent vaccination should be instituted in countries in which it is economically feasible.
Clinical Infectious Diseases,
December 2004
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