Tdap vaccine declared safe for adults over 65

A new study shows that the whooping cough vaccine is safe for adults over the age of 65.

The results of the study are in-line with the current recommendation that the Tdap vaccine be provided to seniors, according to Fox News.

When the recommendation was originally made in 2010, doctors had to use the vaccine off-label for adults over the age of 65 until it was licensed for that age group in 2011. Experts said a proper safety evaluation was essential because of the vaccine's increased use among older Americans.

The study compared the risk of adverse reactions between the Tdap and the Td, the traditional tetanus-diptheria vaccine. It was performed by Kaiser Permanente Southern California and relied on data from more than 100,000 adults over the age of 65.

Vaccination against whooping cough is seen as increasingly important. More cases of the illness are expected to be recorded in the United States in 2012 than during any other recorded year since 1959.

"Pertussis immunization is important, particularly since one of the most common sources of pertussis in infants are relatives, including grandparents," Study researcher Hung Fu Tseng said, Fox News reports. "We suggest that clinicians follow the CDC's recommendation and talk to older adult patients about vaccination against pertussis to protect themselves and their family members."