Whooping cough vaccine is a must for grandparents and anyone else in contact with a newborn | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Who should get the whooping cough vaccine before meeting a newborn?

Grandparents, other family members and caregivers need to make sure they’re up to date on the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine at least two weeks before meeting a newborn to protect against the potentially deadly disease.

Grandparents, other family members and caregivers need to make sure they’re up to date on the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine at least two weeks before meeting a newborn to protect against the potentially deadly disease.

During flu season, everyone also needs to get their flu shot before meeting the new baby.

Adults need a whooping cough vaccine (included in the Tdap shot) booster every 10 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mothers can pass protection from whooping cough to the baby before birth by getting the Tdap shortly after week 27 of their pregnancy — and no later than week 36.

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Tdap vaccines for whooping cough and other diseases are available with same-day appointments, extended hours and online booking.

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Babies can’t get their own vaccine until they are 2 months old, so it’s important for everyone to form a protective cocoon around the newborn by making sure they’re up to date on their shots.

“Whooping cough is very contagious and can be deadly for babies,” said Crystal D. Narcisse, M.D., internal medicine and pediatric physician at Norton Community Medical Associates – Hurstbourne. “It’s typically spread through coughing or sneezing, and adults can spread the disease without even knowing they have it.”

Babies with whooping cough usually don’t cough — they may gasp for air or stop breathing.

Any of these people who may be around the newborn should get updated for Tdap:

  • Parents
  • Siblings (children under age 7 get the DTaP vaccine)
  • Grandparents
  • Babysitters and nannies
  • Other caregivers

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