Francesca Marie McNally, Jaxon Rodgers, and Riley Hughes had one horrible fate in common: they all died of whooping cough as infants, before reaching their first birthday.
They did not come from underprivileged, unhealthy homes. They did, however, somehow encounter the illness and develop the fatal infection.
Here’s the problem: babies cannot receive the whooping cough vaccine until they’re 2 months old. This means that when other people around them-adults and older siblings- aren’t vaccinated against it, the infants are at risk of contracting something they can’t fight off.
What’s the best course of action to take, to keep your baby alive and healthy until they’re old enough to get their own shot?
Doctors are recommending that expectant moms be vaccinated against whopping cough between the 27th and 36th week of pregnancy. Some health professionals offer new moms the vaccine in a shot, called the Tdap shot-at the hospital, just after giving birth.
In McNally’s case, this could have done wonders. Her mother says that she contracted whopping cough herself, and didn’t realize she had it, passing it onto her baby while breast feeding and holding her close.
To help other new parents, and stop them from losing their own children, McNally’s parents built the website iVaccinate.org. The Michigan couple is encouraging parents to visit the site, and find scientific information about vaccines, in order to learn more.
Photo credits: DONOT6_STUDIO/Shutterstock.com