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Acta Pediátrica Costarricense

Print version ISSN 1409-0090


ULLOA-GUTIERREZ, Rolando. Current vaccination strategies against pertussis in children and adults. Acta pediátr. costarric [online]. 2008, vol.20, n.2, pp.81-87. ISSN 1409-0090.

Bordetella pertussis represents the fifth cause of death among vaccine-preventable diseases in children younger than 5 years of age worldwide. During the last decades an important change in pertussis epidemiology has occurred, where adolescents and adults are now the most important source of transmission to infants younger than 6 months of age. Morbidity, mortality, hospitalizations, and complications rates are higher in infants younger than 2 months of age, who have not received yet their first vaccine dose. For these reasons, current recommendations to try to decrease the impact of pertussis in this age group include vaccination to adults at high risk of transmission such as adolescents, adults, and women in immediate postpartum ("cocoon strategy"). This review analyses the latest updated recommendations in pertussis vaccination, as well as other potential strategies including vaccination to pregnant women, newborns, and vaccine acceleratedschedules. Its potential impact in Costa Rica is also discussed, where the most severe outbreak in the last 4 decades has occurred since the end of year 2005, with now 18 confirmed pertussis infant deaths until today.

Keywords : Bordetella pertussis; whooping cough; strategies; vaccination; children; adolescents; adults; cocoon strategy.

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