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Health Care Personnel Are Focus of ACIP's Revised Pertussis Recommendations
Health care personnel already were recommended to receive Tdap, but the precise wording of the new recommendation -- to disregard the interval since receiving Td -- adds a sense of urgency, according to one FP expert.
ACIP Terminology Change
California, for example, had more than 8,600 reported cases of pertussis (6-page PDF; About PDFs) throughout 2010, and many other states have reported high rates of the disease.
The ACIP also voted to recommend postexposure prophylaxis (20-page PDF; About PDFs) against pertussis for all health care personnel -- regardless of vaccination status -- who have unprotected exposure to pertussis and are likely to expose high-risk patients, including infants and pregnant women.
Personnel who do not have contact with high-risk patients can either receive postexposure prophylaxis or be monitored for 21 days after pertussis exposure and treated at the onset of symptoms of pertussis.
All of the committee's existing policies regarding immunizations for health care personnel will be included in a compendium committee members approved for dissemination during last month's meeting.
According to Jonathan Temte, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the ACIP and a professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, the compendium likely will be published as a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report supplement by the end of the year.
"There are recommendations for health care personnel in other documents," Temte said. "This is an effort to put everything in one unified document. It provides stakeholders with a go-to source of information."
Although the 120-page document could be used as a reference manual for infection control personnel and others in hospitals and other health care facilities, Temte said, a tool that would be more helpful for practicing physicians -- a health care personnel immunization schedule -- likely will be developed based on the larger document.
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Vaccination Matters: Help Protect Families from Whooping Cough
CDC: Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: "Recommended Antimicrobial Agents for Treatment and Postexposure Prophylaxis of Pertussis"
(20-page PDF; About PDFs)
(Dec. 9, 2005)