Tdap During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Tdap vaccine during pregnancy not tied to microcephaly, structural birth defects

(RxWiki News) Despite some past concerns, a new study found that getting the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy was not tied to an increased risk for microcephaly or structural birth defects.

For several years, United States health officials have recommended that unvaccinated women receive the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine during pregnancy.

In Brazil, a recent jump in microcephaly cases among newborns coincided with health officials there recommending the Tdap vaccine in pregnant women. That raised concerns about a possible link.

That jump in cases was likely due to the Zika virus, the authors of this study said, because this new study of more than 324,000 live births suggested no increased risk of microcephaly in babies associated with the mother receiving the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy.

Babies born with microcephaly usually have abnormally small heads. The condition can lead to intellectual disabilities and delayed speech development, among other problems.

These researchers noted that their findings support current Tdap recommendations. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines you should receive.

This study was published in JAMA.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded this research. The study authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.