Whooping Cough Vaccination Guidelines Revised
Due to some serious outbreaks of whooping cough recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease...
Due to some serious outbreaks of whooping cough recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released some revised recommendations about the whooping cough vaccine. If you're a parent of a young child, or expecting a baby, you should pay close attention to these new recommendations as they affect you. The revised rules apply to use of Tdap vaccine in older children and adults. Tdap protects against pertussis ("whooping cough"), diphtheria and tetanus. Pertussis is easily transmitted and can cause serious illness or death for a baby who is too young to be immunized. Most often, very young babies develop whooping cough after being exposed to it by older, unvaccinated family members, friends and relatives. Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City explains, "Changes in recommendation for pertussis vaccination have come about as a consequence of the re-emergence of whooping cough. Vaccination is critical in the pediatric age group because of the higher rate of lung damages, morbidity and mortality of this preventable disease." The new recommendations:
- A single dose of Tdap should be given to health care workers of all ages and to all adults -- including those over the age of 65 -- who have contact with infants.
- A single dose of Tdap should be given to children aged 7 to 10 who were under-immunized or who have an incomplete vaccination history.