Why Your Tween Needs this Baby Vaccine

October 22, 2013  |  

By the time your kid becomes a teenager, they’re done with most of their vaccinations. But doctors are now advocating for teens getting a booster to the pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccine in order to protect younger siblings. Health experts told CNN that the vaccine reduced the number of babies hospitalized with whooping cough by more than 30 percent.

In 2005, doctors introduced the Tdap booster shot for 11- and 12-year-olds to protect them from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Because many infants get the disease from older siblings, parents or other family members, doctors really urge parents to vaccinate their tweens. Babies can’t get the vaccine themselves until they’re 2 months old, and they need four more doses of the vaccine by age 7 in order to be fully protected, meaning it’s especially important that those around them get the vaccine.

For kids ages 13 to 18 who haven’t had their Tdap booster shot, doctors say they should really speak to their general practitioners about getting the shot. Doctors also recommend pregnant women get the vaccine in order to protect their baby-to-be. While in mom’s stomach, the baby would receive some protection against the infection through the placenta.

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