Experts revise guidelines for whooping cough vaccination
Revised recommendations for the use of Tdap vaccine to protect against pertussis ("whooping cough") in older children and adults have been released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"The current [revised] recommendations are right on track, and very important for physicians and their patients to follow," said Dr. Peter Richel, Chief of Pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital, in Mount Kisco, N.Y.
"In addition to the above recommendations during childhood, Tdap should be received by adults…pregnant women and caretakers of infants and children," Richel said. "That means day care workers, teachers, and parents and grandparents of any age. If you have any questions, refer to your pediatrician, obstetrician or internist."The Tdap vaccine also protects against diphtheria and tetanus. All three illnesses are caused by bacteria and are potentially deadly diseases.
Pertussis is easily transmitted and causes severe, uncontrollable coughing. It mainly affects adolescents and adults, but can be a serious threat to infants who are too young to be immunized. Although children two months and older receive a similar vaccine known as DTaP, which protects against the same three diseases, pertussis is often transmitted by older, unvaccinated family members, friends and relatives.
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