From 1 July 2019, Boostrix® (Tdap) is funded from the second trimester of every pregnancy and recommended to be administered from 16 weeks.
For best protection of the newborn the booster immunisation is recommended to be administered from 16 weeks of pregnancy, preferably within the second trimester, but at least two weeks prior to birth to:
- allow time for the woman's immune system to produce antibody protection against pertussis (whooping cough)
- reduce the risk that she will catch pertussis and pass it to her baby at delivery
- reduces the risk that she will pass pertussis to her baby for the subsequent year when the baby at highest risk of complications from pertussis and until baby is fully protected by their own immunisations
- ensure there is enough time before birth for high levels of antibodies to pass through the placenta into the baby to provide baby with its own temporary protection against severe disease. (This protection varies between mothers and babies but can remain for at least two months)
If a Boostrix vaccine is administered less than two weeks before delivery, there may not be adequate time for the woman’s antibody levels to be boosted to pass good protection to baby before birth, however, it will increase the woman's protection against pertussis, and reduce the risk that she will have the disease during the baby's first year of life when their risk of complications from pertussis is highest.
From 1 July 2019, PHARMAC has also extended eligibility to receive a funded Boostrix vaccination to include parents or primary caregivers of infants admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Specialist Care Baby Unit for more than 3 days and who had not been exposed to maternal whooping cough immunisation at least 14 days before birth..
Click on this link to read the Decision to widen access to pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine on the PHARMAC website.