Cocooning infants: Tdap immunization for new parents in the pediatric office

Acad Pediatr. Sep-Oct 2009;9(5):344-7. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2009.05.027. Epub 2009 Jul 12.


Objective: Vaccination with tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) is recommended for adults who have close contact with infants aged <12 months to protect young infants from infection due to Bordetella pertussis. This study assessed the acceptance of Tdap vaccination among parents bringing their newborn to a pediatric office during the first month of life.

Methods: Parents of all newborns were consecutively approached for participation by a study coordinator who provided written information about the study and a Tdap vaccine information sheet. After obtaining informed consent, a study coordinator reviewed contraindications for Tdap vaccination. Tdap vaccine was given by a clinic nurse, but parents with a history of ever receiving Tdap vaccine or of receiving a tetanus and diphtheria vaccine (Td) within the previous 2 years were excluded.

Results: Two hundred parents were approached for study participation, of whom 40 (20%) were ineligible to receive Tdap vaccine primarily due to receipt of Td vaccine within the previous 2 years (32/40). Of the 160 eligible to receive Tdap vaccine, 82 (51.2%) received a dose. Although nearly 60% of vaccinated parents received Tdap vaccine the first time they were approached, over 40% received Tdap vaccine at a subsequent office visit occurring during the baby's first month of life.

Conclusions: Offering Tdap vaccine in the pediatric office increases access to vaccination for both new fathers and mothers. When hospital-based, postpartum Tdap vaccination is not a routine practice, office-based vaccination of parents offers an option for protecting young infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Office Visits*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Pediatrics*


  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines