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AAP: Grandparents Should Receive Whooping Cough Vaccine

Grandparents, or anyone over age 65 who is caring for a new baby, should receive the vaccine for pertussis, or whooping cough, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced Tuesday in a new recommendation.  The Boston Globe's Daily Dose blog has more:

The policy statement issued by the Academy recommends that anyone over age 65 who is caring for a baby receive the tetanus-diptheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. They already had the recommendation in place for parents of babies who hadn't yet received Tdap, which was approved for use in 2005.

In fact, some hospitals in the local area offer the immunization to new parents before they head home with their newborn. Babies don't receive their first diptheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) vaccine until two months of age and aren't fully immunized until six months.

Pertussis has been a growing problem in the U.S. with 27,550 cases reported last year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California had the worst outbreak since 1947 with 9,143 cases and 10 infant deaths. (Mass. had fewer than 500 cases last year.)

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