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For Primary-care Providers
For You and Your Staff
image of title Image of For Pediatricians: You play a vital role in the fight to prevent the spread of pertussis Image of Pediatrician, mother, and baby

Many adults may be unaware that adults and adolescents with pertussis can pass the disease to vulnerable infants.4 In reality, pertussis is highly contagious, with household attack rates reaching 90% to 100% among susceptible family members.5,7 They may also be unaware that receiving a single dose of Tdapa vaccine is recommended by the CDCb to help prevent this disease.4 Despite this fact, only 8% of adults reported receiving Tdap vaccination from 2005 through 2010.23

Parents trust you as a primary source of medical advice for the health of their infants. In fact, parents may see you more than they see their own primary-care providers. You can help ensure families in your practice are protected against pertussis by

  • Routinely informing parents about the threat pertussis poses to families and encouraging mothers and other key contacts to seek Tdap immunization
  • Continuing to immunize eligible adolescents ≥11 years of age with Adacel vaccine, including catch-up immunization for older adolescents

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Follow these suggestions for easy implementation of routine Tdap discussions in your practice

Make parent Tdap status a routine part of your screening process for infant visits

  • Update paper and electronic medical record (EMR) newborn checklists to include Tdap immunization status of parents
  • Add parent Tdap vaccination status to the EMR or medical history and/or vitals checklist
  • Ask the receptionist and/or nurse to ask parents about recent immunizations they may have received
  • Have the nurse ask about Tdap status when checking an infant’s weight and height; place a reminder near the scale
  • Use chart stickers on each infant’s patient file to easily keep track of the parents’ immunization status

Use educational opportunities to help streamline your in-office Tdap discussions with parents of your infant patients

  • Include the Vaccine Information Sheet for Tdap and other educational materials in newborn visit packets
  • Display Tdap brochures in your waiting area and/or exam rooms
  • Place reminders near scales that encourage adult contacts to seek immunization from their primary health-care providers

Additional ideas to support immunization with Tdap

  • Post a link to the CDC’s Tdap Vaccine Information Sheet on your practice’s Web site:
  • Add information about Tdap to your office’s “on-hold” message
  • Ensure members of your staff are immunized with Tdap
  • Encourage parents to discuss Tdap vaccine with others who have close contact with their infants
  • Use WellConnect® to contact all parents of children younger than 12 months of age

a Tdap = Tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis.
b CDC = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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Health-care professionals

Infant caretakers