A Postpartum Pertussis Vaccination Program: A Celebration of the Baystate Experience


Poster Presentation

Purpose for the Program

To share the process, strategies, and metrics of a successful postpartum vaccination program. Pertussis is on the rise. In 2010, localized outbreaks were reported in Michigan, Ohio, and California. California's outbreak included 10 infant deaths. The fatality rate in newborns younger than 3 months is 1.4%; however, 55% of infant pertussis is caused by an infected parent.

Proposed Change

To implement a postpartum vaccination program.

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

Our goal was to protect our newborns while educating the new family regarding pertussis and highlighting the public health challenges that this initiative presents. Challenged by a visit from our regional immunization nurse highlighting public safety concerns along with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Perinatal Committee agreed to implement a postpartum pertussis vaccination program. This presentation will provide the steps taken to initialize and mobilize the process followed by educational strategies, including timelines and metrics. Nurse and patient perceptions related to immunizations will be shared. Discussion continues regarding cocooning and immunizing the family unit, including the operational challenges this particular initiative presents. An update will be provided.

Implications for Nursing Practice

We will present the process and metrics and document why the vaccine has not been widely administered. In 2011, our goal was to immunize 80% of all postpartum mothers. By July 2011, we had successfully administered vaccinations to 79% of postpartum women—a true cause for celebration!