The purpose of a pertussis booster vaccination (Tdap) during the third trimester of pregnancy is two-fold:
- Increase the mother's own protection against pertussis and reduce the risk that she will have the disease and pass it onto her newborn at the time of delivery and anytime during their first year of life when their risk of serious complications is highest.
- Maximise the transplacental transfer of maternal pertussis antibodies to the fetus that can protect the newborn against severe pertussis disease for 4-6 weeks after birth.
Boostrix® (Tdap) is recommended and funded between 28-38 weeks gestation of every pregnancy because pertussis antibody levels are highest during the first year after vaccination and then begin to decrease. The degree and duration of protection for the newborn is dependent on the quality and quantity of maternal antibodies that cross the placenta. No evidence of harm for the course of the pregnancy, fetus or newborn has been identified from the use of Tdap during pregnancy.
There is no minimum interval between a Tdap booster vaccination and a previous Tdap or Td vaccination.
Refer to page 359 in the Immunisation Handbook 2014
14.5 Recommended immunisation schedule
Dose interval between Td and Tdap
No minimum interval is required between Td and Tdap unless Tdap is being given as part of a primary immunisation course.
Pregnant women should receive a dose of Tdap (funded) from 28 to 38 weeks’ gestation. This should be given during each pregnancy.
View the Recommended and funded vaccines during pregnancy fact sheet
View the Pertussis disease fact sheet.
View the Spacing of Tdap after a Td vaccine fact sheet.