PodMed TT – Study: Prenatal TDAP Vaccine Does Not Increase Autism Risk

Women who are pregnant should receive the TDAP—that’s tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis—vaccine with the goal of protecting their unborn child from infections, especially whooping cough or pertussis, in the first few months of life. Rick and I wholeheartedly endorse such a practice and applaud results of a study we talk about on PodMed TT this week in Pediatrics. The study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of such a strategy, and clearly finds NO increased risk of autism spectrum disorder among offspring of women so-vaccinated.

Whooping cough can be life-threatening, and as with many other vaccine-preventable diseases, has become distressingly more common as many parents turn away from vaccinating their children due to completely unfounded concerns about autism. This practice renders not just their own child vulnerable to infection but anyone else with whom they come into contact who is susceptible: very young children, those who are immunocompromised, and those whose immunizations are incomplete. Therefore, vaccinating women while pregnant can protect at least one of these groups. And, we agree, the study helps further debunk enduring myths relative to autism and its relationship to immunization.

Other topics this week, all from NEJM, include treating stroke when the time of onset is unknown, the relationship between smoking cessation, weight gain and mortality in those with type 2 diabetes, and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and mortality in those with type 2 diabetes.

Until next week, y’all listen up and make healthy choices.