Grandparents Should get their Tdap Vaccination

By Leslie Terjesen on Monday, January 4, 2016

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT GRANDPARENTS CAN HELP PROTECT AGAINST WHOOPING COUGH?

         

‘Grandparents can help protect their grandchildren from whooping cough (pertussis) by making sure they receive their Tdap vaccination at least two weeks before the baby is due,” said Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “The arrival of your new grandchild should be a time of great joy and pride and grandparents, parents and any siblings of ANYONE coming near the baby should be vaccinated against whooping cough.”

          Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator, points out that whooping cough spreads easily and can cause severe illness and even death. He said, “It is especially dangerous for infants under 6 months of age, who are too young to be well protected by vaccines for whooping cough. Babies who get whooping cough often catch it from family members, including grandparents, who may not even know they have whooping cough.” Many adults have a cough that may last months and not seem that serious but it may be whooping cough, which is spread easily to infants.” He added, “That’s why it is important that parents, grandparents, and other family members get a Tdap shot to prevent getting and spreading whooping cough.”

             Although most adults were vaccinated against whooping cough as children or may have had the disease as a child, protection wears off over time. Tdap is a vaccine recommended for all adults – including pregnant women – as well as teens and preteens. The shot is especially important if you are going to be around a new baby – like your grandchild.

 Tdap vaccine also provides important protection for you from whooping cough and its serious symptoms, which can last as long as 10 weeks or more. Of course, vaccinating the adults around infants is no substitute for childhood immunization. Infants and young children need five shots of the childhood vaccine, DTaP, for maximum protection from whooping cough. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Immunization Schedule, DTaP shots are recommended at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 through 18 months, and 4 through 6 years old.

 Regenye continued, “Many adults that we speak to think of whooping cough as a disease from their childhood and not around anymore. This is wrong; whooping cough is common in the United States and there are outbreaks every few years. In 2010, there was a large outbreak of whooping cough, with many cases in Ocean County. Of the 27,550 cases of whooping cough in the U.S., there were 25 deaths among babies younger than one year old reported.”

   Being a grandparent can bring great joy into your life. Take the time to talk to your doctor about getting a Tdap vaccination so you can protect yourself and your grandchild.

             You can call CHEMED at 1771 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, at 732-364-2144, ext. 214 with questions or to schedule an appointment for a Tdap vaccination.

 You can also visit the Ocean County Health Department website at www.ochd.org or follow the Health Department on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like the Health Department on Facebook.