Family And Caregiver Vaccine Timing
Anyone who needs the whooping cough or flu vaccines should get them at least two weeks before meeting the baby because it takes about two weeks to develop antibodies after vaccination.
When one member of a household has a respiratory illness, other members are at risk for getting ill, too. Researchers have:
- identified siblings and parents as the most common sources of whooping cough infection in young infants.1
- found that many other people can get babies sick, including grandparents, caregivers, and friends of the family.
When everyones vaccinations are up to date, parents can feel more secure about the safety of their child.
Is The Whooping Cough Vaccine Safe For Adults Are There Any Risks
The DTaP and Tdap vaccines are very safe and effective at preventing diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. But all medications and vaccines can have side effects.
Fortunately, the most common side effects of these vaccines are usually mild and go away on their own. They can include:
- soreness or swelling where the shot was given
- loss of appetite
Severe allergic reactions are rare but can be life threatening. Always consult your healthcare provider if youre concerned youre having a reaction.
You shouldnt get the vaccine if youve had a coma or long repeated seizures within 7 days after a dose of DTaP or Tdap.
The notes that you should tell the person giving you the vaccine if you:
- have seizures or another nervous system problem
- have ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome
- had severe pain or swelling after a dose of whooping cough vaccine.
- had an allergic reaction to the whooping cough vaccine or any severe allergies in the past
Its important to keep a record if youve ever had a severe allergic reaction in the past and to tell the healthcare provider giving you the vaccine.
Keep in mind, severe reactions are rare.
The whooping cough vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent infection. Babies are at greatest risk of severe illness and death from this bacterial infection.
But a prolonged cough can have significant consequences for adolescents and adults. It may result in:
- substantial time lost from work or school
- social isolation
- sleep deprivation
What Is Pertussis Vaccine
There are a number of pertussis vaccines available in B.C. that protect against pertussis. The pertussis vaccines are provided in combination with other vaccines such as diphtheria, polio and tetanus and are free as part of your childs routine immunizations.
A pertussis vaccine is also available for older children and adults. A booster dose of pertussis vaccine is provided free to grade 9 students in B.C. Adults who were not immunized against pertussis as children can also get a dose of the vaccine for free. A booster dose of the pertussis vaccine is recommended for adults who were immunized in childhood but is not provided for free in B.C.
During an outbreak of pertussis, the vaccine may be provided for free to women who are 26 or more weeks pregnant to protect them and their newborns.
For more information about pertussis vaccines see the following:
- HealthLinkBC File #105 Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b Vaccine
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If The Vaccine Doesn’t Last Very Long Why Should I Get It
The vaccine works very well for the first couple of years. Even after five years, children still have moderate protection from whooping cough. Infants usually get whooping cough from a family member or caregiver and are at greatest risk for getting very sick and potentially dying from whooping cough. People who are vaccinated and still get whooping cough usually have milder, shorter illnesses, and are less likely to spread the disease to others, like babies and pregnant women.
When Should I See My Doctor
See your doctor as soon as possible if you think you or your child may have whooping cough.
If a young baby has suspected whooping cough, they need to be tested for it straight away. Your doctor may refer them to hospital. This is because the disease can be severe in babies.
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Administration With Other Vaccines
Boostrix® or Adacel® which are pertussis-containing vaccines can be co-administered with other vaccines at the same schedule point, using separate injection sites.
Vaccination is recommended for any adult who wants to reduce their likelihood of becoming ill with pertussis. If protection against pertussis is needed as soon as possible, adults can receive 1 dose of dTpa vaccine at least 4 weeks after a dose of dT vaccine.
Boostrix® or Adacel® can be co-administered with influenza vaccine to pregnant women. Influenza vaccine is also free for pregnant women and recommended at any time during every pregnancy.
How Can I Get The Whooping Cough Vaccination
The vaccine is available from your GP, though some antenatal clinics also offer it. You may be offered the vaccination at a routine antenatal appointment from around 16 weeks of your pregnancy.
If you are more than 16 weeks pregnant and have not been offered the vaccine, talk to your midwife or GP and make an appointment to get vaccinated.
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Vaccination Of Specific Populations
Persons with inadequate immunization records
Children and adults lacking adequate documentation of immunization should be considered unimmunized and started on an immunization schedule appropriate for their age and risk factors. There are no established serologic correlates for protection against pertussis. Refer to Immunization of Persons with Inadequate Immunization Records in Part 3 for additional general information.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
The strongest safety and effectiveness data are from the third trimester. This option may not allow sufficient time for the development and transfer of maternal antibodies before delivery. Late immunization will not provide protection for most preterm births. There may be fewer clinical opportunities to offer vaccination in late pregnancy compared to earlier vaccination.
Infants born prematurely
Patients/residents in health care institutions
Residents of long-term care facilities should receive all routine immunizations appropriate for their age and risk factors, including acellular pertussis-containing vaccine. Refer to Immunization of Patients in Health Care Institutions in Part 3 for additional general information.
Persons with chronic diseases
Persons new to Canada
Why Should I Get Vaccinated If I Don’t Have Close Contact With Babies
While you may not have direct contact with babies, you may be around them in public places such as the grocery store or the library. Babies often catch whooping cough from an adult or family member who may not even know they have the disease. Babies who get whooping cough often have to be hospitalized and could die.
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Preparing Your Child For Vaccines
Getting a vaccine can be stressful for some children. With some preparation and kid-friendly explanation, parents can help to make vaccine visits easier and less stressful. Talk to your health care provider or health unit if you have any questions about the vaccine your child will receive.
Prepare your child before the visit. Be honest. Explain that shots can pinch or sting, but that it wont hurt for long. Tell your child that vaccines are important to keep them healthy.
For younger children
- Hold your child or cuddle them on your lap.
- Use distractions like toys, bubbles, and books.
For older children
- Older children can use distractions like games, books, music, and talking about something unrelated to the vaccination. Deep breathing and/or counting, as well as keeping the arm relaxed and still may help to make the shot easier.
- For children getting their shots at school clinics, tell them to let the nurse know if they feel nervous about getting vaccinated or if they feel faint or light-headed before, during, or after the vaccination. The clinic staff can help them through the process.
Ask your health care provider or local public health unit about using topical anesthetics .
Why Are Whooping Cough Vaccines Important
Whooping cough spreads very easily from person to person. Because it usually starts off like a cold, people who have whooping cough may not know theyre spreading it. And it can be deadly, especially for newborn babies.
Babies who get whooping cough can have dangerous complications, like pneumonia , convulsions , and brain damage. Thats why its especially important for pregnant women to get vaccinated and that people who spend time with babies are up to date on their whooping cough vaccine.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent whooping cough.
Whooping cough is caused by a kind of bacteria. Its named for the whoop sound people can make after coughing fits. Learn what whooping cough sounds like.
The early symptoms of whooping cough include:
- Runny nose
Preteens and teens ages 7 through 18
Older children need 1 booster shot of the Tdap vaccine at age 11 or 12 as part of their routine vaccine schedule.
If your child misses the booster shot, talk with your childs doctor about scheduling a catch-up shot.
Adults age 19 and older
If you missed the Tdap booster as a teen, youll need to get a Tdap booster to make sure you have protection from whooping cough.
Pregnant women need 1 booster shot of the Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy.
Talk with your doctor about how to protect your family from whooping cough.
You should not get a whooping cough vaccine if you:
Be sure to tell your doctor before getting vaccinated if you:
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Should Vaccines Be Mandatory
Few issues divide libertarians so emphatically as government-mandated vaccinations against communicable diseases, as reason discovered after including anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy in our “45 Enemies of Freedom” list . That selection brought forth a deluge of mail, such as this succinct riposte from reader Christopher Kent: “Freedom doesn’t get much more personal than the right of individuals to choose what is put into their bodies, and to accept or reject medical procedures.”
But what happens when one person’s individual choice leads to the otherwise preventable infection of another person who chooses differently? How do you assign property rights and responsibilities to an airborne virus? And how far can or should the state intrude into family decisions that affect the safety and health of children? The issue seems almost tailor-made to produce philosophical conflict among those who otherwise share a heightened skepticism of government power.
This is no mere debate-society chum. Over the last 15 years, spurred on by McCarthy and other high-profile advocates who claim that vaccinations may cause such damaging side effects as autism, more parents are opting out of vaccinations for highly contagious diseases for their children. A 2011 survey by the Associated Press reported that exemption levels in eight states now exceed 5 percent.
Refusing Vaccination Puts Others at RiskRonald Bailey
Vaccination and Free WillJeffrey Singer
Why Should Pregnant Women Get Vaccinated During Each Pregnancy
Women should be vaccinated during each pregnancy because the mother passes some protection to the baby before he or she is born, and because protection from Tdap is most effective within the first year after receiving the vaccine. Whooping cough can be serious for infants, and most get it from parents, siblings, or caregivers. Getting the mother vaccinated at each pregnancy provides the best protection for each baby.
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Treatment For Whooping Cough
In its early stages, the symptoms of whooping cough can be reduced by taking antibiotics. If treatment is given in the first 21 days of the illness, the risk of passing the infection to others might be reduced.
Members of the infected person’s household are at increased risk of getting the disease and are usually prescribed a strong antibiotic as a preventative measure, even if they are fully immunised.
How Is Whooping Cough Treated
If whooping cough is diagnosed during the first few weeks of the infection, a course of antibiotics may be given to prevent the infection spreading further.
Antibiotics will stop someone being infectious after 5 days of taking them. However, without antibiotics, they may still be infectious until 3 weeks after the intense bouts of coughing start.
If whooping cough is not diagnosed until the later stages of the infection, antibiotics may not be prescribed. This is because the bacteria that cause whooping cough have already gone by this time, so the person is no longer infectious. Antibiotics will make no difference to the symptoms at this stage.
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Is The Vaccine Safe In Pregnancy
It’s understandable that you might have concerns about the safety of having a vaccine during pregnancy, but there’s no evidence to suggest that the whooping cough vaccine is unsafe for you or your unborn baby.
Pertussis-containing vaccine has been used routinely in pregnant women in the UK since October 2012, and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is carefully monitoring its safety. The MHRA’s study of around 20,000 vaccinated women has found no evidence of risks to pregnancy or babies.
To date, around 69% of eligible pregnant women have received the whooping cough vaccine with no safety concerns being identified in the baby or mother.
A number of other countries, including the US, Argentina, Belgium, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, currently recommend vaccination against whooping cough in pregnancy.
If A Child Or Staff Member Has Whooping Cough
If you suspect that a child has whooping cough, you can insist that the parents take them to a doctor. They should return to your ECE service or khanga reo only after they have been cleared by the doctor.
Any staff with a persistent cough should see their doctor and stay away from the ECE service or khanga reo until the doctor is sure that they do not have whooping cough.
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When Should I Have The Whooping Cough Vaccine
The best time to get vaccinated to protect your baby is from 16 weeks up to 32 weeks of pregnancy. This maximises the chance that your baby will be protected from birth, through the transfer of your antibodies before he or she is born.
If for any reason you miss having the vaccine, you can still have it up until you go into labour. However, this is not ideal, as your baby is less likely to get protection from you. At this stage of pregnancy, having the vaccination may not directly protect your baby, but would help protect you from whooping cough and from passing it on to your baby.
Are There More Cases Of Whooping Cough Than What’s Reported
There are always more cases of whooping cough than what’s reported. Only about one out of every 10 cases gets reported to public health because:
- Sometimes whooping cough is diagnosed as something else.
- Some people have whooping cough without knowing it, so they may not see a doctor and it could go undiagnosed and unreported.
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How Whooping Cough Spreads
When a carrier of whooping cough coughs or sneezes, they spread the fluid through the air and onto surfaces, which can contaminate others who come into contact with it.
Someone with whooping cough can be infectious from the early stages of infection, when they may have a runny nose, right through to three weeks after they experience fits of coughing.
Who Should Get Immunised Against Whooping Cough
Anyone who wants to protect themselves against whooping cough can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.
Whooping cough immunisation is recommended for:
- children aged 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 18 months, four years, and between 10 and 15 years , at no cost under the National Immunisation Program .
- pregnant women in the third trimester, ideally between weeks 20 and 32 of every pregnancy, at no cost through the NIP
- healthcare workers, if they have not had a whooping cough vaccine in the past 10 years
- people working in early childhood education and care, if they havent had a whooping cough vaccine in the past 10 years
- adult household contacts and carers of babies under 6 months old
- people who are travelling overseas, if they havent had a whooping cough vaccine in the past 10 years
- adults of any age who need a tetanus, diphtheria or polio dose
- people aged 50 years, at the same time as they get their recommended tetanus and diphtheria vaccine
- people aged 65 or over, if they have not had a whooping cough vaccine in the past 10 years.
People under 20 years old, refugees and other humanitarian entrants of any age, can get whooping cough vaccines at no cost through the NIP. This is if they did not receive the vaccines in childhood. This is called catch-up vaccination.
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Vaccines For Adults Increasing Opportunities For Health
Historically, vaccines were deemed to be only for children. However, vaccines for adults are becoming increasingly common and necessary. Most adults think only of the tetanus booster recommended every 10 years and even then, many adults only get the vaccine if they injure themselves. In 2005, the Tdap vaccine was licensed as an improved version of the typical tetanus booster, Td. The newer version also contains a component to protect against pertussis . All adults, especially those who are going to be around young infants, should get the Tdap vaccine. Adults often unwittingly pass pertussis to young infants for whom the disease can be fatal. In 2012, the CDC recommended that pregnant women get a dose of Tdap during each pregnancy between 27 and 36 weeks gestation. In 2019, the CDC recommended that Tdap or Td vaccine could be used for booster dosing every 10 years.
Influenza vaccines, available since the 1940s, are now recommended for most adults. Vaccines like MMR and chickenpox are recommended for adults who have not had the diseases, and vaccines including hepatitis A, hepatitis B, pneumococcus, and meningococcus are recommended for sub-groups of the adult population. The HPV vaccine became available in 2006. In 2018, the license was expanded to include people up to 45 years of age.
The first formal adult immunization schedule was published in 2002 and is updated annually.