Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yuck, Whooping Cough...

After recently hearing that Utah is due for another Whooping Cough outbreak (our last one was in 2006) and since we're about to have a newborn in our home, I've been educating my family and I about the Tdap (Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis~ aka Whooping Cough) vaccine. I never knew continued vaccines were necessary after high school, but because of this website, I've learned quite a bit as to why it's so important to continually keep your vaccinations current. 

Why should adults and adolescents get a Tdap vaccine?
If you received a whooping cough vaccine as a child, that doesn’t mean you have lifetime immunity. Since childhood vaccines that protect against whooping cough can fade over time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a single dose of Tdap vaccine for people ages 11 to 64.

A lot of local health clinics (click here if you live in Logan) are currently offering this adult Tdap vaccine for free right now, no appt. necessary. I also called our health insurance co. and they informed me that this shot is considered preventative care and therefore covered at 100%. So if you feel more comfortable, it should also be available from your general care physician. 

The reason why it's so important for families of newborns to be current on vaccines like this is because newborns don't start receiving their vaccines until 2 months of age, leaving them susceptible to contracting very contagious and sometimes fatal illnesses like Whooping Cough and the Flu. Pregnant women are not advised to get vaccinated until after they give birth, but I've heard it's now becoming standard practice to administer to post-natal women while still at the hospital. As much as my husband and I hate having to worry about things like this, we know it's part of our responsibility as parents to be cautiously aware, and proactive with preventative care whenever possible.

Hope this information is useful to you ~ let's encourage everyone we know to stay healthy by getting the word out about Tdap!

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