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Despite good rates of immunization among children, an apparent increase in the incidence of pertussis disease in infants in France has been observed, mainly because of low vaccination coverage among adults. Guidelines drawn up in 2004 recommend a vaccination strategy called cocooning for parents, but those guidelines are rarely followed by the medical community. Raising the vaccination rate among parents to 65% and the extension of pertussis vaccine booster for people between 26 and 28 years old could help control the disease. In a primary healthcare setting in 2009, we studied 2 groups of 188 and 190 parents of newborns in a maternity unit. We proposed 2 strategies: information and vaccine prescription for both parents (if eligible) at the time of discharge from the maternity unit (group 1) or vaccination proposed to both parents during hospitalization in the maternity unit (group 2). After 6 weeks, the vaccination rates of both groups were compared. Analysis shows that parents had insufficient knowledge of the disease. Parents were often unaware of their vaccination status. Hence, objective data concerning the vaccination status was quickly available for only 42% of the population, making determination of eligibility unreliable. Only 8% of the parents were up to date for pertussis vaccination in the last 10 years, whereas 90% of the parents had the opportunity for vaccination and 37% of them had been eligible before the pregnancy. At the end of the study, 53% of the parents in group 1 were vaccinated, showing the positive impact of the medical encounter and vaccine prescription. During the study, 40% of the parents in group 2 who were proposed immediate vaccination in the maternity unit accepted it. This increased to 43% of group 2 parents being immunized by the time they had left the maternity unit. Proposing the vaccination at the maternity hospital was the more effective of the 2 strategies (P=0.03): at the end of the study, the objective was nearly reached with 64% of the parents being vaccinated. The promotion of parental vaccination by the pediatrician in the maternity ward is simple and effective. Medical encounters resulting from prescriptions made during hospitalization could raise awareness in general practitioners and enable them to identify eligible adults for pertussis vaccination and vaccinate themselves. There is a need to discuss the complementarity and interactions between perinatal teams and general practitioners within the community healthcare network. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


C Durand, E Flament. Pertussis vaccination for parents: proposal and evaluation of two professional practices in a maternity hospital]. Archives de pédiatrie : organe officiel de la Sociéte française de pédiatrie. 2011 Apr;18(4):362-9

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PMID: 21353770

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