Pertussis

There has been a major increase in the number of cases of whooping cough (pertussis) around the world; including New Zealand, where outbreaks of the disease usually happen every three to five years.

The most recent New Zealand outbreak occurred from 2011 to 2013. The number of disease notifications in 2014 were significantly lower than in 2013.(2)  Similarly, disease notifications in 2015 were lower than those in 2014. However, a trend of small increases in monthly notifications has been observed over 2015.(3) 

BOOSTRIX® is recommended and funded for pregnant women between 28–38 weeks of every pregnancy, individuals post-haematopoietic stem cell transplantation; post-chemotherapy; pre- or post-splenectomy; pre- or post-solid organ transplantation; or on renal dialysis or a severely immunosuppressive regimen longer than 28 days.

For further information on pertussis and pertussis containing vaccines please refer to Chapter 14 in the on-line (or electronic) Immunisation Handbook 2014.

For best infant protection

To protect infants from severe disease please continue to encourage immunisation of pregnant women between 28 and 38 weeks gestation, followed by on time immunisation of infants at ages 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months.

BOOSTRIX® is recommended and funded in every pregnancy between 28 and 38 weeks gestation regardless of the interval since a previous Tdap or Td vaccine. This is to maximise maternal protection against pertussis and maximise transplacental pertussis antibody transfer and protection of the newborn from severe pertussis for four to six weeks after birth.

Comparison of infant pertussis cases in the United Kingdom before and after the introduction of a whooping cough booster vaccination for pregnant women between 28–38 weeks gestation showed that maternal vaccination was highly effective at reducing infant pertussis, with a vaccine effectiveness of 91% (95% CI 84–95) for infants up to 3 months of age.(1)

For the BOOSTRIX® and ADACEL® Datasheets please refer to the Medsafe website www.medsafe.govt.nz

References
  1. Amirthalingam G, Andrews N, Campbell H, Ribeiro S, Kara E, Donegan K, et al. Effectiveness of maternal pertussis vaccination in England: An observational study. Lancet. 2014;384(9953):p. 1521-8
  2. Institute of Environmental Science and REsearch Ltd (ESR). Notifiable Diseases in New Zealand: Annual Report 2014, Porirua: Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR), 2015: Available from: https://surv.esr.cri.nz/surveillance/annual_surveillance.php?we_objectID...
  3. Institute of Environmental Science and REsearch Ltd (ESR). Monthly notifiable disease surveillance reports January to December 2015 Porirua: Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR); 2015 Available from https://surv.esr.cri.nz/surveillance/monthly_surveillance.php