In my opinion, the pertussis vaccination is one of the more important vaccinations we offer. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is highly contagious and can make babies very very sick. We start the vaccination series at 2 months old but it isn’t until 6 months old that they have a decent immunity (and the series isn’t completed until they are 5, with a booster at age 12). The best way to protect those vulnerable babies under 6 months is to vaccinate those around them–namely their siblings and parents. Pertussis vaccination is so important to babies that it is one of only two vaccines that we offer to parents (influenza is the other).
A new study came out looking at how effective vaccinating parents is. Young children were 51 percent less likely to be diagnosed with pertussis when their parents had been immunized. You can read more about the study here. And you can find some great info about pertussis here.
If you haven’t gotten your pertussis booster (the Tdap for adults) please see your health care provider or come into our office and we will be happy to get you and your baby protected.