Recommendations to control pertussis prioritized relative to economies: A Global Pertussis Initiative update

Kevin D. Forsyth*, Tina Tan, Carl Heinz Wirsing von König, Ulrich Heininger, Amar J. Chitkara, Stanley Plotkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease that causes morbidity and mortality, particularly in infants and children <5 years of age. The Global Pertussis Initiative (GPI) recommendations represent a systematic evaluation and prioritization of strategies to prevent pertussis-related infant and child deaths, reduce global disease burden and prevent resurgence through vaccination strategies and public health policies at national, regional and local levels. The GPI recommendations are based on clinical trials and observational and surveillance data, which are essential in the planning, implementation and evaluation of vaccination practices and best use of available resources. Many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) continue to use whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccines for primary vaccination, while most high-income countries have replaced wP with the less-reactogenic acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines. This present manuscript pertains to discussions held during the GPI's meeting on November 11–13, 2016, in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa. The GPI recommends that LMIC aim for high coverage of infant series pertussis vaccines as a priority. In LMIC and countries with constrained vaccine funding, if wP vaccines are currently used, wP should continue to be used. Furthermore, given that protection against disease and death due to pertussis in neonates is a key priority of the GPI, it recommends that ap immunization in pregnancy should be implemented as a priority in all countries if resources allow. Given that surveillance and epidemiology data on which to base vaccine decisions are important, the GPI also suggests that, in areas where wP vaccines are implemented, standardization and calibration of wP vaccines are checked, considering the many different manufacturers and variable standards of production and quality control. In addition, as immunity to pertussis wanes following the primary infant series of vaccination, the GPI further recommends that toddlers, adolescents, healthcare and childcare workers receive booster vaccine doses, where resources allow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7270-7275
Number of pages6
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 19 2018


  • Epidemiology
  • Global Pertussis Initiative
  • Pertussis
  • Recommendations
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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