Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FREE Pertussis vacine for parents!

I'm sure you've all seen the commercial on TV, a Mother is holding her coughing baby near a window, sort of pacing back & forth with a worried expression on her face. The baby has the telltale whoop associated with "whooping cough". Maybe you even had whooping cough as a child - I know I did, & I remember it well! However, did you know that Pertussis or "whooping cough" is life threatening to babies under a year old. The scary thing about that is that it's children under 4 who catch it most frequently. Check out the Sounds Of Pertussis website for more information. This is a wonderful website that's full of info!

My baby is now 6 months old. On a recent visit to the pediatrician I learned that it's recommended that all adults having direct contact with an infant should get the Tdap vaccine. My pediatrician said that most babies catch Pertussis from their parents or another close family member. He asked when we last received our vaccine, & I really wasn't sure. My husband, myself, & my oldest daughter received a tetanus shot upon returning to N.O. after evacuating for Hurricane Katrina, but the pediatrician was unclear on if the tetanus portion of the vaccine was separate from the pertussis portion, & recommended getting it again to be on the safe side. Apparently, babies aren't considered protected from Pertussis until they have 3 shots. So far, my sweet girl has only had 1. The Dr told me about a wonderful program in our area aimed at ensuring that adults protect their babies from whooping cough.

If you're the parent of a baby less than 1 year of age, & live in the Metro New Orleans area, you can receive a free Tdap vaccine from GNO Shots For Kids. After doing a quick search online, I found that many states have similar programs, so please do your baby a favor & do a quick search online for "Free Pertussis vaccine for parents" & add in your local area. Failing that, you can of course get it from your regular DR or the Health Department.

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