Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Infect Dis. 2010 Aug 1;51(3):315-21. doi: 10.1086/653938.

Effectiveness of adolescent and adult tetanus, reduced-dose diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine against pertussis.

Author information

National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Pertussis is among the most poorly controlled bacterial vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. In 2006, a tetanus, reduced-dose diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) booster was recommended for adolescents and adults. Tdap vaccines were licensed on the basis of antibody response without vaccine effectiveness data.


From 30 September 2007 through 19 December 2007, a pertussis outbreak occurred at a nursery through twelfth grade school on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. We screened all students for cough and collected clinical history, including Tdap receipt. Coughing students were offered diagnostic testing. We defined clinical case patients as students with cough 14 days in duration plus either whoop, paroxysms, or post-tussive vomiting, and we defined confirmed case patients as students with any cough with isolation of Bordetella pertussis or those with clinical cases and polymerase chain reaction or serological evidence of pertussis; other clinical cases were classified as probable.


There were 51 confirmed or probable cases among 499 students (attack rate, 10%). Disease clustered in grades 6-12, with a peak attack rate of 38% among 10th graders. Of 266 students aged 11 years with complete data, 31 (12%) had received Tdap. Forty-one unvaccinated students (18%) had confirmed or probable pertussis, compared with 2 (6%) of the vaccinated students (relative risk, 2.9); vaccine effectiveness was 65.6% (95% confidence interval, -35.8% to 91.3%; P = .092).


This first evaluation of Tdap vaccine effectiveness in the outbreak setting suggests that Tdap provides protection against pertussis. Increased coverage is needed to realize the full benefit of the vaccine program. Serological testing was an important tool for case identification and should be considered for inclusion in the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists case definition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center