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Whooping Cough Vaccine for Pregnant Women Among New Recommendations
Date:1/29/2013

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have released new vaccine guidelines for 2013.

One change is a recommendation for women to receive a dose of the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine with each pregnancy. Another is the suggestion that mild egg allergy need no longer prevent people from getting the flu vaccine under certain circumstances.

The guidelines also clarify the use of the pneumococcal vaccine -- which protects against sometimes life-threatening meningitis, pneumonia and blood infections -- in certain vulnerable populations.

Current levels of vaccination in adults are low, according to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Because of this, the committee recommended that providers review patients' vaccination records and recommend needed vaccines.

"It's so important to adhere to these immunization schedules. People need to understand: These schedules are put together with great care and discussion and review of scientific data," said Dr. H. Cody Meissner, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee that makes vaccine recommendations.

Meissner said sometimes parents will ask to alter the way vaccines are given, requesting things like a half-dose now and the rest of the dose at a later time. "We just don't know if vaccines work at half-doses. It's critically important to adhere to the schedule," he said.

The latest vaccine recommendations can be found in the Feb. 5 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine and the February issue of the journal Pediatrics.

The most notable change is the new recommendation that pregnant women -- whether adolescent or adult -- receive a booster dose of the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (TDaP) vaccine during each pregnancy. Ideally, this booster will be given be
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