When you’re expecting a baby, there’s a lot to prepare for in a short amount of time. You have to have the bassinet ready, diapers in order, bottles ready, and a dozen other details sorted out. The health of your baby is very important too. You should make sure everyone in the household has had their TDap injection well ahead of time. Why? We break down why you need the injection not only to protect your baby, but everyone in your household too.
What is a TDap Vaccination?
The TDap vaccination is not well known, but it offers protection against three serious diseases: pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria. The first booster people receive is to protect adolescent and adults from the whooping cough. The reason everyone in your household should have their vaccinations immediately is because whooping cough (known as pertussis) is a highly contagious disease. People who are not vaccinated are at risk for catching the disease and can pass it on to babies.
What is Involved with Whooping Cough?
Whooping cough is not a pleasant disease to catch. Whooping cough involves coughing for months on end. Cracked ribs often occur from bad coughing spells, pneumonia, and other complications can arise too. While many people are vaccinated for the disease for a child, the immunity begins to wear away as time passes.
Whooping cough can be life threatening for infants less than a year old. The people they’re most likely to catch it from are people who live in the household. People with the disease can pass it on to the infant too when they’re in close contact with them. Vaccinating adolescents and adults against whooping cough helps to protect infants from the disease.
When people receive the TDap vaccine before or during pregnancy, there’s a change the antibodies will pass on from the mother to the newborn. This can help provide an extra level of protection for the infant when their too young to be vaccinated themselves.
How Often is Whooping Cough Caught by Infants?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as the CDC, is responsible for tracking outbreaks of the disease. Starting in 2004, there is an average of 3,055 infants who caught whooping cough and over 19 deaths have been reported with each passing year. The majority of these cases, deaths, and hospitalizations occur in infants who are under two months old since they’re too young to have the vaccine.
Studies have also indicated whooping cough is more prevalent than the reported cases have shown. The CDC has estimated about 600,000 adults contract the disease each year. Remember to receive the vaccination as soon as possible not only for the health of your baby, but everyone in your household too.