Thailand to protect newborns with TDAP shots for pregnant women
Thailand is planning to add the TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis) vaccine for pregnant women to its national immunisation programme.
National Vaccine Institute director Dr Nakorn Premsri said on Saturday that TDAP vaccine will protect pregnant mothers and newborn babies and reduce the risk of severe illness in babies too young be vaccinated.
Currently, the three TDAP vaccine shots needed to build strong immunity are administered to children during their first six months of life.
“Therefore, there is a six-month gap from when the baby is born until they receive the third shot, during which they are vulnerable to the three diseases, as the bacteria that cause them can be carried by family members,” said Dr Nakorn.
Vaccinating the mother while pregnant will reduce that vulnerability.
Nakorn added that the move has already been approved by the national vaccine committee and would undergo a cost-benefit analysis as the last step. He expects TDAP vaccination for pregnant women to become available before the end of this year.
So far, Thailand’s vaccination programme protects against 11 diseases: Tuberculosis, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis, Japanese encephalitis, measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), haemophilus influenzae type b (HIB), and Rotavirus gastroenteritis.