CDC say s Tdap vaccination rates lagging

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that adult Tdap vaccination rates for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis protection are in need of improvement.

In 2005, the CDC recommended that people between the ages of 10 and 64 years be vaccinated once every 10 years. Despite this recommendation, the CDC’s October 15 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealed that, in 2008, only 5.9 percent of people aged 18 to 64 received the Tdap shot. Only five percent of adults with infants had been properly vaccinated.

Of those in the 18 to 64 age range whose Tdap history could be determined, 36.5 percent were in need of a tetanus shot, which the Tdap would replace. Approximately 60 percent of adults reported having updated their tetanus vaccinations in 1999.

With the current spike in pertussis cases throughout the country, this information is alarming to CDC researchers, according to The CDC is trying to underscore the need for more aggressive vaccination efforts. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which was behind the 2005 Tdap recommendations, urged that the vaccine would provide protection from the current pertussis outbreak.

The ACIP stressed that it is particularly important for health care workers and adults who have contact with infants to be immunized because they are at greater risk of transmitting illness to susceptible individuals. Health care workers fared somewhat better in the survey - Tdap rates were higher than average, reports, at 15.9 percent.

To improve Tdap vaccination rates, the CDC is urging health care providers to administer the vaccine to anyone aged 18 to 64 that has not had a tetanus shot in 10 years. Health care providers and adults in contact with infants can have the Tdap shot if it has been as little as two years since their last tetanus shot.