Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is widespread in California, the U.S., and the world. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) has identified an increase in pertussis cases since April 2018.
Pertussis is naturally cyclic in nature, with peaks every 3-5 years. The last peak year was 2014. Santa Clara County Public Health Department as well as the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are monitoring closely for the possibility that 2018 will be another peak year.
All pregnant women should receive the Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy, regardless of vaccination history, preferably between 27-36 weeks’ gestation. If a postpartum mother has never received Tdap, promptly administer Tdap before discharge home. Vaccination of pregnant women with Tdap is covered by health insurers, including Medi-Cal.
Prenatal care providers who do not carry Tdap in their office should ensure that their pregnant patients receive the vaccine from another source such as their primary care provider or a pharmacy. Prenatal care providers should follow up with patients on a subsequent visit to ensure the patent was vaccinated and to help find a source of vaccine if the patient was not vaccinated.
In addition to pregnant women, everyone around young infants should be up to date with their pertussis vaccines. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, other family members, and caregivers.
CDPH currently recommends that young infants can receive their first dose of vaccine against pertussis (called DTaP) as early as 6 weeks of age
Healthcare workers should ensure they are up to date with pertussis vaccination, especially those who care for infants.