There are ample number of good reasons to get the recommended vaccines and the most important of them is that it could save your child’s, or another child’s life. People who don’t get vaccines for their children and themselves not only put themselves in danger but they put the general public in danger as well.
California is currently fighting a surge of a highly contagious bacterial disease which gives those infected a severe cough that can last for months known as pertussis (commonly referred to as whooping cough) cases. With the increasing troll of the number of cases being reported, health officials have declared a state-wide epidemic. Nearly 3,500 (3,458) cases of whooping cough have been reported since January 1, 2014, a number greater than reported during all of 2013 was reported by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in a news release. In the last two weeks alone in California more than 800 cases have been reported.
The most vulnerable among all to this fatal disease are the young infants. Babies four months and younger are most often the ones who end up being hospitalized with the disease as the newborns and infants are too young to be fully immunized from whooping cough. Due to whooping cough this year, there have been two infant deaths reported.
Getting a whooping cough Tdap vaccination is important for pregnant women in their third trimester each time they are pregnant. Even if the vaccination will not immunize the infants from the disease, it’s the best preventive measure available for babies who are too young to be vaccinated.
As soon as they acquire the appropriate age, all infants should also be vaccinated. Children under the age group six to eight weeks can be given the first dose of the whooping cough vaccine. As a part of the vaccine regimen, infants require five doses by kindergarten (ages 4 to 6). It is important for anyone who will be spending time around newborn babies to get vaccination. Older children and adults who have not been immunized should also get vaccinations. Even for those who were vaccinated when they were young, most doctors recommend adults get a Tdap booster.
Unlike a number of other diseases like measles which can be prevented with a vaccine, the pertussis vaccine (or getting whooping cough and recovering) doesn’t offer lifetime immunity from this disease. Still, the current vaccination regimen is the best defense we have against this potentially fatal disease.