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Extra Protection For Babies Against Whooping Cough

April 02, 2018

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, can be especially dangerous for newborns and infants. The respiratory infection can cause breathing problems and lead to hospitalization.

But there’s good news. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that women can boost their babies’ protection against the disease by getting a Tdap vaccine during pregnancy. Women who had this vaccine during pregnancy reduced their babies’ risk for whooping cough by 91 percent in the first two months of life. The protection continued throughout the babies’ first year, reducing whooping cough risk by 69 percent. It did not reduce the effectiveness of the DTaP vaccine that the babies received, but it seemed to add to the protection.

“The good news is that a simple vaccine in pregnancy can help reduce young babies’ risk for this serious illness,” says Joel Edman, M.D., FAAP, chair of Pediatrics at Riverview Medical Center.

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