Washington, DC – The C.D.C. today recommended that millions of Americans require booster shots against chlamydia, gonorrhea, and chlamydia trachomatis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 20 people, or about 70 million Americans, will be diagnosed with chlamydia in 2010.
“Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and lead to infertility, recurrent pelvic infections, and even death,” said William R. Bennett, M.D., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We are recommending routine booster shots for nearly every American who has had sexual contact with an infected person.”
“The recommendation that everyone who has had sexual contact with someone with chlamydia be recommended for a routine yearly booster vaccination is a move in the right direction,” said Sue Linuska, M.D., chair of the C.D.C.’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “Most Americans know that we have approved boosters for HPV, HIV, and hepatitis, but not chlamydia. This will be an important step to protecting America’s families.”
The C.D.C. recommends that every sexually active woman receive a Cervarix, diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) booster shot between the ages of 11 and 26. For men, it recommends a Cervarix, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) booster at age 18 or 19, or at age 21 or 22.
More than 6 million Americans are currently eligible for the free standard Cervarix (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine) that is administered to women and men ages 11 to 26. These people would have to take a special personal immunization recommendation card to receive the vaccination, which takes at least five weeks to show an immune response.
Although Cervarix is a standard vaccine, it is not recommended for teens and women ages 12 to 17 due to a small risk of causing birth defects in children. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant need not receive the vaccine and instead are encouraged to have their first PPD dose of Hib vaccine, which contains pertussis, in the first trimester.
In 2006, more than 30 million people received the five-dose yearly Hib vaccine against pertussis, which the C.D.C. recommends for women ages 11 to 26 years and for men ages 19 to 49. An estimated 90 percent of Americans between the ages of 11 and 49 have received a pertussis shot or booster in the past. The Chlamydia vaccination rate in the United States, provided free through the public health system, is about 50 percent, compared to a 94 percent global target for the 2018 target. As such, more than 100 million people are currently eligible for this vaccine that has been recommended by the World Health Organization and other expert organizations.