With a pertussis epidemic in California and cases on the rise in other states, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending that elderly parents, especially those who have grandchildren or are around infants, get re-immunized against the disease. According to the LA Times report on the October 27th CDC panel recommendation, “Senior citizens should be vaccinated against whooping-cough if they expect to be in contact with newborn infants…” Of all age groups, newborns and very young infants are at the highest risk from exposure to whooping-cough.
The vaccine, known as Tdap, was originally licensed for people up to age 64, but according to the panel, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), evidence increasingly indicates that the shot is appropriate for adults age 65 and older. The vaccine provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Another inoculation, the DTaP, is a booster shot given to children to immunize them against the same diseases.
The approved CDC recommendations are expected to be published in upcoming edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The inoculation for seniors is covered under Medicare Part D.
Articles and Information
- Seniors Should Get Whooping-Cough Vaccine – United Press International
- Senior Citizens Should be Immunized for Whooping-cough, Federal Panel Says – Los Angeles Times health blog
- CDC Whooping-cough page – CDC
- Panel: Gramps, Get Whooping-Cough Shot – Washington Post
- Whooping Cough Outbreak Is On the Rise Nationally: Your Parents Could Be At Risk – Parenting.com
- Medline Plus Whooping Cough Information Page – Medline Plus