Maternal Vaccination in Argentina: Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Effectiveness During Pregnancy in Preventing Pertussis in Infants <2 Months of Age

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jan 16;70(3):380-387. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciz217.


Background: In 2011, Argentina experienced its highest pertussis incidence and mortality rates of the last decade; 60% of deaths were among infants aged <2 months. In response, a dose of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine was recommended for all pregnant women at ≥20 weeks of gestation. Although recent studies suggest that maternal Tdap vaccination is effective at preventing infant disease, no data have come from low- or middle-income countries, nor from ones using whole-cell pertussis vaccines for primary immunization.

Methods: We conducted a matched case-control evaluation to assess the effectiveness of maternal Tdap vaccination in preventing pertussis among infants aged <2 months in Argentina. Pertussis case patients identified from September 2012 to March 2016 at 6 hospital sites and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction testing were included. Five randomly selected controls were matched to each case patient by hospital site and mother's health district. We used multivariable conditional logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (ORs). Vaccine effectiveness (VE) was estimated as (1 - OR) × 100%.

Results: Seventy-one case patients and 300 controls were included in the analysis. Forty-nine percent of case patients and 78% of controls had mothers who were vaccinated during pregnancy. Overall Tdap VE was estimated at 80.7% (95% confidence interval, 52.1%-92.2%). We found similar VE whether Tdap was administered during the second or third trimester.

Conclusions: Tdap vaccination during pregnancy is effective in preventing pertussis in infants aged <2 months in Argentina, with similar effectiveness whether administered during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Keywords: Tdap; infant pertussis; maternal immunization; pregnancy; vaccine effectiveness.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Argentina / epidemiology
  • Diphtheria* / epidemiology
  • Diphtheria* / prevention & control
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pregnancy
  • Tetanus* / prevention & control
  • Vaccination
  • Whooping Cough* / epidemiology
  • Whooping Cough* / prevention & control


  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis Vaccines