In 2014, Flor M. Munoz and colleagues published “Safety and Immunogenicity of Tetanus Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) Immunization During Pregnancy in Mothers and Infants: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” hereafter “Tdap Immunization During Pregnancy,” in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors conducted a study to determine how Tdap immunization affected the mother and infant’s immune response to the common childhood diseases tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. They found that Tdap immunization did not lead to an increased risk of adverse health events. Furthermore, maternal Tdap immunization provided the infant with protective levels of pertussis antibodies after delivery and did not affect the infant differently from the DTaP vaccination series, which is the version of Tdap for young children. The authors’ findings in “Tdap Immunization During Pregnancy” supported the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s, or CDC’s, recommendation for pregnant women to receive the Tdap vaccine to prevent disease in mother and infant.

The DTaP vaccination series is an FDA-approved, five-shot vaccine for young children in the United States for protection against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. DTaP stands for diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis, which are all common childhood diseases. In the US, Daptacel and Infanrix are the two types of DTaP vaccines, whereas other countries offer other variations. Both Daptacel and Infanrix consist of five shots that stimulate the immune system to protect a child against those diseases. Children vaccinated with DTaP may still end up getting one of the diseases, but they often present with milder symptoms than if they were not vaccinated. The general vaccination schedule for the five shot series is two months, four months, six months, fifteen to eighteen months, and four to six years of age. DTaP vaccination fully protects nine out of ten children against acquiring disease, contributing to a downward trend in diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis cases in developing children in the US.