ACOG Committee Opinion No. 566: Update on Immunization and Pregnancy: Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Vaccination

Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Jun;121(6):1411-4. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000431054.33593.e3.


In the face of dramatic and persistent increases in pertussis disease in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has updated its guidelines for the use of the tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) for pregnant women. The new guidance was issued based on an imperative to minimize the significant burden of pertussis disease in vulnerable newborns, the reassuring safety data on the use of Tdap in adults, and the evolving immunogenicity data that demonstrate considerable waning of immunity after immunization. The revised Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices guidelines recommend that health care personnel administer a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy, irrespective of the patient's prior history of receiving Tdap. To maximize the maternal antibody response and passive antibody transfer and levels in the newborn, optimal timing for Tdap administration is between 27 weeks and 36 weeks of gestation, although Tdap may be given at any time during pregnancy. However, there may be compelling reasons to vaccinate earlier in pregnancy. There is no evidence of adverse fetal effects from vaccinating pregnant women with an inactivated virus or bacterial vaccines or toxoids, and a growing body of robust data demonstrates safety of such use. For women who previously have not received Tdap, if Tdap was not administered during pregnancy it should be administered immediately postpartum to the mother in order to reduce the risk of transmission to the newborn. Additionally, other family members and planned direct caregivers also should receive Tdap as previously recommended (sustained efforts at cocooning). Given the rapid evolution of data surrounding this topic, immunization guidelines are likely to change over time and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will continue to issue updates accordingly.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy*


  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines