Father’s Day is right around the corner but at St. Vincent Carmel Hospital, new fathers get a boost any day with our Tdap vaccine, available right in the room to all new dads to protect the new family from pertussis (whooping cough).
“We have been vaccinating our new moms for a several years,” said RN Dale Zoccola. “Because we realize the benefit to the community and our patients, we are expanding this program to now include the fathers of our newborns.”
Before the vaccine became available in 1940, pertussis was one of the most common childhood diseases in the U.S. and a major cause of mortality in children. This highly contagious respiratory infection is caused by bacteria and can result in coughing attacks so severe they lead to vomiting and exhaustion. Introduction of the vaccine made a significant decline in the number of cases of the disease, but the 1980s saw a gradual increase. In Central Indiana, several outbreaks occurred in 2010 and 2011 in schools and the surrounding community. In fact, in 2010, Hamilton County had the highest number of cases in the state.
Whooping cough can seem much like a common cold, but the cough becomes more severe and full recover can take months. Young infants are at the highest risk, and infant deaths have occurred in the past couple of years in Indiana.
Indiana requires a booster for schoolchildren, but parents, grandparents and other childcare providers can infect babies. Family members who have not had a booster of the Tdap vaccine are the primary source of transmission.
Any new father can be vaccinated right in the room.