Our ObGyn practice has just experienced our first patient whose 3 month old baby developed Whooping Cough (Pertussis) here in Frisco, TX. For those not familiar with this condition, it is a scary bacterial infection that initially starts out like any other cold but quickly leads to coughing spells that in children can cause them to stop breathing or turn blue, these same symptoms can apply for infected adults. It also can progress to pneumonia and require hospitalization. Medically, up until 3 years ago, there was no vaccine for adults, just for children.
Collin County has a very high population of people who do not believe in childhood immunizations. Since arriving to Frisco, three of the babies I have delivered developed Whooping Cough (Pertussis) as a result of exposure to unvaccinated individuals you see at school, work and the grocery store. All have been on ventilators at Children’s Hospital and were lucky to survive. Since implementing routine vaccination during pregnancy only one baby has been hospitalized, those parents choose not to vaccinate and also contracted Pertussis.
The Whooping Cough (Pertussis) vaccine also contains Tetanus and Diphtheria coverage. It is an inactive (no live virus), preservative free vaccination. For children it is referred to as DTaP and in adults, TDaP. The childhood vaccine requires 5 injections and takes 6 months to establish immunity, leaving a 6 month window of susceptibility for your healthy newborn.
The TDaP vaccine for adults should be given to significant others and caregivers (i.e. grandparents, nannies etc.) who are around current or future newborns. A booster is given every ten years to adults. For pregnant women vaccination is recommended during the 3rd trimester of each pregnancy, the antibodies created by vaccination pass on immunity to the baby, in the womb.
All insurance carriers in the United States cover vaccinations, per the Affordable Care Act, with zero co-pay or out of pocket expense. Our office will gladly administer the vaccine to anyone who will be in contact with your baby, just call. Children receive their last booster at 9-10 years of age.