Reuters reports that a new study, published in the journal Epidemiology, suggests that vaccinating older siblings and mothers against pertussis – also known as whooping cough – prevents infants from getting the infection.
Since there currently is not a vaccine against whooping cough for newborns, some health experts have advised “cocooning,” a strategy that involves vaccinating those who live with an infant.
An alternative method that has been proposed involves vaccinating only pregnant women against the infection.
In the study, researchers found that infants whose mothers had whooping cough were the most susceptible to infection. In light of this, the study suggests that vaccinating mothers would be effective in protecting babies. Additionally, it also suggests that older siblings be vaccinated since they are more likely to get pertussis in the first place.