Serving our nation’s EMS practitioners

Top News

All News

Pertussis Cases on the Rise; Practitioners Encouraged to Check Immunization Status!

Nov 10, 2010

For adults with infant contact and EMS workers (i.e. health-care personnel) with direct patient contact, the single recommended Tdap dose is suggested to be administered as soon as 2 years after the last tetanus vaccination.
In 2005, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that the newly licensed tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine replace a single decennial dose of tetanus diphtheria (Td) vaccine for persons aged 10--64 years. According to these recommendations, Tdap may be used to protect against pertussis even when <10 years have passed since the most recent tetanus vaccination. For adults with infant contact and EMS workers (i.e. health-care personnel) with direct patient contact, the single recommended Tdap dose is suggested to be administered as soon as 2 years after the last tetanus vaccination.

According to the CDC, pertussis in contrast to tetanus, is common in the United States with 13,278 cases reported in 2008. Compared with the general population, HCP are at increased risk for acquiring pertussis, which can be transmitted to patients, including infants and immunocompromised persons . Tdap coverage was higher among HCP (15.9%) than non-HCP (5.1%) in 2008. The findings in this report were consistent with a recent survey of HCP: only 15% received a pertussis vaccination when offered at no cost. The report concludes that many HCP might not be seeking vaccination actively. For more information, click here.