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In the Valencian Community (Spain), the programme of maternal pertussis vaccination during pregnancy started in January 2015. The objective of this study was to estimate in this region the vaccine effectiveness (VE) in protecting newborns against laboratory-confirmed pertussis infection. A matched case–control study was undertaken in the period between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016. Twenty-two cases and 66 controls (+/− 15 days of age difference) were included in the study. Cases were non-vaccinated infants < 3 months of age at disease onset testing positive for pertussis by real-time PCR. For every case three unvaccinated controls were selected. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated by multiple conditional logistic regression for association between maternal vaccination and infant pertussis. Other children in the household, as well as mother- and environmental covariates were taken into account. The VE was calculated as 1 − OR. Mothers of five cases (23%) and of 41 controls (62%) were vaccinated during pregnancy. The adjusted VE was 90.9% (95% confidence interval (CI): 56.6 to 98.1). The only covariate in the final model was breastfeeding (protective effect). Our study provides evidence in favour of pertussis vaccination programmes for pregnant women in order to prevent whooping cough in infants aged less than 3 months.


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