Ministry Health Care offers whooping cough vaccination to protect newborns

According to data released by the State of Wisconsin as of July 16, 2012, the United States has reported 18,000 cases of Pertussis (whooping cough), a disease that is vaccine preventable. In Wisconsin there have been 3,169 cases reported.

Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital and Ministry Medical Group are reaching out to patients to help protect newborns from Pertussis by offering the Tdap vaccine.

“We work really hard to provide education on the Tdap vaccine at multiple points of contact with expecting mothers and families,” shared Tony Keegan, DO, Ministry Medical Group OB/GYN, “We discuss it at the very first prenatal visit, during the pregnancy, and following delivery.”

Ministry Medical Group OB/GYN staff promote and educate on the vaccine to determine if the immunization is due for mom and, if applicable, is offered at 32 weeks of her pregnancy.

Ministry also educates about the need to immunize anyone with close contact to the infant, such as the parents, siblings, grandparents, caregivers. The concept of immunizing others to protect the baby from Pertussis is known as Tdap Cocooning.

New moms and families delivering at the Women and Infant Center at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital are offered Tdap Cocooning free through the State. Tdap vaccines are provided to parents, grandparents, or anyone that will be in close frequent contact with the infant in the first few months of the baby’s life.

“We are offering the vaccine to support people that will be in close contact with the baby,” shared Cindy Weisbrod, RN Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital Women and Infant Center Manager. “It’s all about keeping baby healthy. Most patients and families are getting it [Tdap vaccine] at the clinic; we are offering that extra security when we see them at delivery.”

Facts based on the State of WI data, as of July 16, 2012:

  • 3,169 cases in 68 of 72 counties
  • The median age at cough onset was 12.6 years, which is close to the age of the next scheduled vaccination for the Tdap booster (11-12 years)
  • More than half of all cases are age 5-14 years
  • 149 cases were in children less than 1 year old and 71% were age 6 months or less
  • Babies start their immunizations at 2 months, but they are not fully protected with that first shot
  • 53% of these children were up to date in their immunizations, 22 % were too young for immunization
  • One child has died, 29 were hospitalized
  • 15% were under immunized and 10% were due for another dose at the time they got Pertussis
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