The following highlights key information for immunization providers. Please refer to the remainder of the Statement for details.
Pertussis caused by Bordetella pertussis is an endemic respiratory disease pathogen from which unimmunized infants are at greatest risk of hospitalization and death.
This statement addresses maternalFootnote a Tdap immunization in pregnancy in Canada with the aim of protecting newborn infants in Canada from severe outcomes of pertussis infection.
Immunization with Tdap vaccine should ideally be provided in every pregnancy between 27 and 32 weeks of gestation. However, Tdap immunization may be provided from 13 weeks up to the time of delivery in view of programmatic and unique patient considerations.
Due to high susceptibility to infection, infants who have not initiated vaccination or completed the primary series of pertussis immunization are at highest risk for pertussis complications, including hospitalization and death. Immunization in pregnancy is safe and provides protection to infants until they are able to receive the pertussis vaccine at two months of age.
Due to the varying cycle activity of pertussis in Canada, routine immunization with Tdap vaccine in pregnancy is preferred over its use as an outbreak control measure only. Use of Tdap vaccine during outbreak situations is considered to be logistically challenging and less effective for preventing pertussis in infants compared to routine maternal immunization in pregnancy.