Whooping cough (pertussis) is a growing problem in the US and Arizona.  There were 41,880 cases and 14 infant deaths from pertussis in the US last year…  which is the largest number of cases since the vaccine became available in the 50s.  In Arizona there were 988 cases in 2012 and there’s a pretty substantial outbreak going on right now in Colorado City.  Anyone can get infected with whooping cough, but infants are most likely to die from it and family member – especially the infant’s mother – are the most likely to give it to infants. 

New data shows that a mother’s antibodies against pertussis are short-lived.  Therefore, giving pregnant women a booster shot in one pregnancy might not provide protection for the next.  In fact, new recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices say that every pregnant woman should get a pertussis booster during every pregnancy.  Places to find vaccines can be found at The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI) website.