8/1/11 - Whooping Cough
Whooping Cough, or Pertussis, remains a serious respiratory illness, especially for infants and young children. Those most vulnerable to the infection are not fully protected until they have received 3-4 doses of the DTaP vaccine.
For the past few years we have been recommending that Moms, Dads and other close caregivers of newborns receive a booster dose of Tdap vaccine before the infant is discharged from the hospital to form a "cocoon" of protection around the newborn. The Tdap vaccine has now been approved for use in the over 60 age group as well for those grandparents who visit or care for the newborn.
The CDC is now recommending a new strategy, which they hope will be even more effective: Immunization of Moms during the last trimester of pregnancy. This will boost the Moms antibody protection against Pertussis and her antibodies can pass through the placenta and protect the newborn after birth until he/she has received her vaccines.