Preemies Get Boost in Pertussis Protection From Mom's Vaccination
Forbes (June 2, 2016) - "Getting a dose of the pertussis vaccine during pregnancy doesn't only help healthy, full-term babies-it appears it may help preemies as well. The CDC currently recommends pregnant women get a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acelluar pertussis) shot in their third trimester. The goal is to stimulate a fresh immune response so that the antibodies the mother makes are then passed across the placenta to the fetus, thereby giving a newborn a bit of protection against pertussis before their first DTaP vaccine at 2 months. This strategy is not only effective at reducing newborns' risk of pertussis, it's also safe for mother and baby and ensures that the mother's immunity is in tip top shape. Mothers are second only to siblings in transmitting pertussis to babies. Also known as whooping cough, or the '100-day cough,' pertussis is most dangerous in babies under 2 months old. These young infants have the highest risk of death from pertussis."