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Pertussis Booster for Those Age 65-Plus

September 23, 2011 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Tdap vaccine -- tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis or whooping cough -- in those age 65 and older.


The report, published in the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, said Boostrix by GlaxoSmithKline has been available to people ages 11-64 years and is now approved for use in adults age 65 years and older.


By getting vaccinated with Tdap, adolescents and adults can protect themselves against pertussis, in turn preventing pertussis exposure to infants too young to be vaccinated, health officials said.


"Infants, especially those too young to be vaccinated, are at increased risk for death from pertussis. To prevent pertussis transmission to infants, all close contacts -- parents, siblings, grandparents, caregivers -- should make sure they are vaccinated."


People age 11-64 are routinely recommended to receive a one-time dose of Tdap vaccine in place of a tetanus booster.


Now, older adults age 65 and older who have or who anticipate having close contact with an infant are recommended to receive a dose of Tdap vaccine, CDC officials said.

Posted: September 2011