In October, 2010, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to expand the recommendations for the use of Tdap (tetanus-diptheria-acellular pertussis) vaccine. This action was taken in an effort to protect more people from pertussis due to an increased incidence of the disease in the United States. Many states, including Texas, have seen an increased incidence of pertussis in the past decade. Currently, California is experiencing its largest outbreak in 60 years. Since January 2010, more than 6400 confirmed, probable and suspected pertussis cases, and 10 pertussis related deaths in infants have occurred in that state. According to information from the Immunization Action Coalition, the new recommendations are as follows:
·Tdap can be given regardless of the interval since the last Td was given. There is no need to wait 2-5 years to administer Tdap following a dose of Td.
·Adolescents should receive a one-time dose of Tdap (instead of Td) at the 11-12 year old visit.
· Adolescents and adults younger than age 65 years who have not received a dose of Tdap or for whom vaccine status is unknown, should be immunized as soon as feasible. (As stated above, Tdap can be administered regardless of interval since the previous Td dose.)
·Adults age 65 years and older who have not previously received a dose of Tdap, and who have or anticipate having close contact with children younger than age 12 months (i.e. grandparents, other relatives, child care providers and healthcare personnel) should receive a one-time dose to protect infants. (As stated above, Tdap can be administered regardless of interval since the previous Td dose.)
· Other adults 65 years and older who are not in contact with an infant, and who have not previously received a dose of Tdap, may receive a single dose of Tdap in place of a dose of Td
· Children ages 7-10 years who are not fully immunized against pertussis (i.e., did not complete a series of pertussis-containing vaccine before their seventh birthday) should receive a one-time dose of Tdap.
Although giving Tdap vaccine to people 7 through 9 years and 65 years and older is considered off-label use, CDC recommends use of the vaccine regardless. According to CDC experts, “ACIP recommendations represent the standard of care for vaccination practice in the United States.”
Immunizations are given every Wednesday from 8 – 11:30 a.m. and 1 -4:30 p.m.; the second Wednesday of each month until 6 p.m. There is a $6 administration fee.
For further information, visit www.immunize.org  . If you have immunization questions, you may call the Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department at (325)235-5463 or the CDC-INFO Contact Center at (800)232-4636.