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Protecting yourself and your baby from pertussis (whooping cough)

(Posted on 7/24/14)

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious disease that can be spread by coughing. People with pertussis have severe coughing attacks that can last for months.

Infants too young for vaccination are at greatest risk for life-threatening cases of pertussis. The Tdap vaccination for pregnant women is the best way to protect infants who are too young to be vaccinated.

All pregnant women should be vaccinated with Tdap in the third trimester of each pregnancy, regardless of previous Tdap vaccination. Tdap is safe for you and your baby. Some of the protection you get from Tdap during pregnancy passes to your baby. This will help protect your baby until he is old enough to get his first whooping cough vaccine at 6–8 weeks of age.

To further protect your baby, family members, friends, and caregivers also need to be up to-date on their whooping cough shots. Make sure everyone 11 years of age or older gets a Tdap booster shot at least two weeks before they are around your baby.

Please read the following flyers with more information on how to protect your baby from pertussis.

Immunizations for a Healthy Pregnancy

Protect Your Baby from Whooping Cough