Public health researchers report that having OB/GYNs administer the Tdap vaccine to pregnant Hispanic women can significantly increase vaccination rates in this group.

“This intervention highlighted the fact that [you need to] educate the mom, and more importantly, educate the OB/GYN, because many times the OB/GYNs were not familiar with the latest recommendations on immunization, and then they can’t answer the questions the moms may have. Moms often are adverse to any type of immunization, but this is one that would actually help their baby,” Diana Ramos, MD, MPH, director of reproductive health at the Los Angeles County Department of Health and a co-author of the study, told MedPage Today in an interview.

Los Angeles County has been dealing with a pertussis outbreak, with 947 cases identified in the region from 2010 to 2015, according to Ramos, who presented the poster here at the National Hispanic Medical Association annual conference. Among babies 0-5 months old, Hispanic children had the highest rate of pertussis infection compared with other ethnic groups during the first 8 months of 2015, at 123.6 per 100,000.

So researchers implemented a 5-month pilot project at a federally qualified health clinic in Canoga Park, a heavily Hispanic section of the county, aimed at increasing Tdap vaccination rates among pregnant women at 27-36 weeks’ gestation by 10%.

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