November 1, 2019

ACIP Updates Pertussis Vaccine Recommendation

Dr. Rockwell explains the new updates and how they benefit patients.

Pamela G. Rockwell, D.O.
Pamela G. Rockwell, D.O., FAAFP

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) just announced updates to its recommendations for the pertussis vaccine. Pamela G. Rockwell, D.O., FAAFP, associate professor, serves on this committee as the American Academy of Family Physicians liaison and was integral in this work.  

In a unanimous vote, the ACIP changed its policy to say that either the tetanus-diphtheria or the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine can be used for

  • the decennial Td booster,
  • tetanus prophylaxis for wound management and
  • additional doses of the catch-up immunization schedule for patients age 7 or older.

“Once these recommendations have been published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, insurance companies will begin to cover Tdap in situations that they haven't before," Dr. Rockwell noted. "This is especially beneficial for Medicare patients, as only Td was covered as a booster before. Now that there is a choice of Td or Tdap, Tdap will be covered."

The ACIP also made other changes to both the adult and child vaccinations schedules, updating, clarifyin, and harmonizing them in the Tables and Notes that accompany Childhood/Adolescent and Adult Immunization Schedules. More information on these changes can be found at