Important vaccination information

No quips today, just important information that you probably wouldn’t get anywhere else…

There is a  new booster shot for pertussis, better know as whooping cough. Although infants are routinely vaccinated, it has become clear that the benefits of the vaccine wear off by the time you are a teen. It is now advised that teens and adults get the new booster every 10 years. It is easily combined with a tetanus shot.  Although it has been out for about a year, it is now becoming easier to get it from your doctor (at first it wasn’t being supplied for some reason).

Why worry about this? Let me share my story (skip if you have heard this before)… about 2 weeks after my daughter was born my husband started to cough. A lot. He went to the doctor who told him it was a cold and to take cough suppressant. Well, it was a “cold’ like you have never seen. He coughed day and night without stop. Nothing helped. (Take a moment and imagine what it is like to cough nonstop for weeks.) When my daughter was 5 weeks old she started to cough the same cough. As you might guess, they both had pertussis. She had to be hospitalized for three days and had to have oxygen given through her tiny nose. (Take a moment and imagine watching your 5-week old turn blue from coughing and you will understand why I am sending this out.)  Luckily we diagnosed her right away and the could give her antibiotics which helped her significantly.  My husband coughed for about 2 months.

Infants die from this. As the pertussis vaccine is not started until 2 months, the youngest of babies are the ones who are most vulnerable. While you might be willing to risk having a terrible cough for weeks on end, please consider whom you might be coughing on, and that they might have a tiny baby at home.  I urge you to get the booster.