Those around babies need whooping cough vaccine

The whooping cough vaccine has been a rite of childhood for decades, but rising rates of the disease have health officials urging pregnant women and all adults who will be caring for the baby to step up to the needle as well.

The Virginian-Pilot reports, “In addition, health officials are encouraging grandparents, caregivers and health providers of babies to get the booster shot that protects against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.”

And “the American Academy of Pediatrics released updated recommendations for the shot” adding “children ages 7 through 10 who did not receive all their immunizations at earlier ages. Adults and even those over 65 who have not had the booster shot are also advised to get it, particularly if they have contact with babies.”

So, who should get the Tdap shot? The Tdap vaccine, as a booster shot that protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) is recommended for:

  • Pregnant women in the last weeks of the second trimester or during the third trimester of pregnancy.
  • Women after giving birth if they didn’t have it during pregnancy.
  • Women who may become pregnant.
  • Adults who are in close contact with a baby.
  • Health care workers.
  • Children before sixth grade.
  • Children 7 through 10 years old who were underimmunized or who have an incomplete vaccine history.

For healthcare professionals, Medscape has a more detailed report.

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