"We look forward to the anticipated approval of Boostrix for adolescents," said Vaughn I. Rickert, Psy.D., immediate past president of the Society for Adolescent Medicine. "Pertussis is a serious and growing public health threat, with outbreaks occurring nationwide. Pertussis among teens may cause severe coughing fits, which may last up to 100 days and significantly impact the teen's life at home and school."
"Currently, there is no pertussis vaccine approved for use in the United States for children seven years of age or older. Because immunity from childhood vaccination may wane after five to 10 years, many teens are left susceptible to this highly contagious disease. Since adolescents do not commonly exhibit the classic signs and symptoms of pertussis, the infection can go undiagnosed and may be the source of infection for infants who are too young to be fully immunized," added Dr. Rickert.
"If approved, BoostrixTM [Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine, Adsorbed (Tdap)] would add a pertussis component to the routine tetanus/diphtheria booster currently administered to adolescents," noted Dr. Rickert.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were almost 20,000 pertussis cases in 2004 - the highest number of reported cases in more than 40 years. Due to these alarming statistics, it is critical for adolescents to receive extended protection against pertussis. Adding a pertussis component to the current tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccine for teens could help prevent this disease in adolescents and may help reduce the risk of transmission to the other vulnerable population, infants," concluded Dr. Rickert.
About the Society for Adolescent Medicine
The Society for Adolescent Medicine, founded in 1968, is the only multidisciplinary professional healthcare organization in the United States exclusively committed to improving the physical and psychological health and well-being of adolescents. Its principal activities include the development, synthesis and dissemination of scientific and scholarly knowledge unique to the health needs of adolescents; professional development of students, trainees, and practicing clinicians around adolescent health; as well as advocating on behalf of adolescents.
Advocacy efforts are supported through local, state and national public and private efforts to develop comprehensive, acute, chronic and preventative health services for youth. The Society publishes and disseminates scholarly information related to adolescent health through its peer-reviewed monthly Journal of Adolescent Health. For more information, log on to www.adolescenthealth.org.