Objective: This study is conducted to summarise and present the current knowledge on antenatal vaccination against pertussis with regard to national recommendations, coverage, immunogenicity, safety and effectiveness of the current available vaccines.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature in English was undertaken from January 2011 to May 2016 with searches in four databases. The review conformed to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines.
Results: 47 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Antenatal vaccination against pertussis induces high antibody concentrations in pregnant women, which are efficiently transferred transplacentally to the fetus and protect newborns when they are most vulnerable to pertussis. This strategy has been demonstrated to be safe, with no evidence of adverse pregnancy, birth or neonatal outcomes. Several countries have already introduced antenatal pertussis vaccination into their national immunisation programme with varying vaccination coverage influenced by various factors. Barriers to achieving high immunisation rates could be improved through better education of the public and healthcare professionals.
Conclusions: There is now an increasing body of evidence to support the safety, immunogenicity and effectiveness of antenatal vaccination to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with pertussis in neonates and young infants before they receive their primary immunisations. Narrowing the gap between scientific evidence and public health policies is critical in order to protect the most vulnerable as quickly as possible. The lessons learnt have important implications for implementation of new vaccines into the antenatal immunisation programme.
Keywords: Maternal vaccination; effectiveness; immunogenicity; pertussis; pregnancy; safety.
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