ACIP recommends HibMenCY for infants at risk for meningococcal disease, Tdap for all pregnant women

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Recommendations seek to help protect vulnerable patient populations against meningococcal disease, pertussis.

On October 24, the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend four doses of HibMenCY for infants at increased risk for meningococcal disease and that a Tdap immunization program should be implemented for all pregnant women.

The committee voted 13 to 1 with 1 abstention to recommend vaccinating infants at increased risk for meningococcal disease with HibMenCY (Haemophilus influenzae type B [Hib]–Neisseria meningitidis serogroups C and Y [MenCY]–tetanus toxoid [TT]) in four doses at 2, 4, 6, and 12 through 15 months. Infants at increased risk for meningococcal disease include those with persistent complement pathway deficiencies and infants who have anatomic or functional asplenia, including sickle cell disease. ACIP also noted that HibMenCY can be used in infants 2 through 18 months of age who are in communities with serogroup C and Y meningococcal disease outbreaks.

ACIP also voted 14 to 0 with 1 abstention to recommend that health professionals providing prenatal care implement a Tdap (tetanus–diphtheria–acellular pertussis) immunization program for all pregnant women. A dose of Tdap should be given during each pregnancy regardless of patients' previous history of receiving Tdap. If Tdap is not administered during pregnancy, it should be given immediately postpartum.

The new recommendation builds on the June 2011 ACIP recommendation that Tdap should be administered during pregnancy only to women who have not previously received Tdap. Administering the vaccine during pregnancy allows for maternal transfer of pertussis antibodies to the newborn and likely provides protection against pertussis in early life, before children can begin getting DTaP (diphtheria–tetanus–acellular pertussis) vaccines. Tdap also provides mothers with protection at the time of delivery, reducing the likelihood of pertussis transmission to infants.

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