Protecting Your Baby Through immunizations

Pregnant Mothers

Pregnant mothers should talk to their Doctor about Tdap vaccination during the third trimester of pregnancy (between the 27th and 36th weeks). Vaccination with Tdap during pregnancy gives the baby short-term protection from:

  • Encephalopathy (disease of the brain)
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Whooping cough

Getting the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy does provide your baby some short-term protection but he needs his own vaccine to protect him as he grows up.

Babies

The recommended whooping cough vaccine for children is called DTaP. This is a safe and effective vaccine that protects children against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. For best protection against whooping cough, children need five doses of DTaP - one dose at each of the following ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 15 through 18 months
  • 4 through 6 years

Family & Caregivers

Anyone who comes in close contact with your baby, from older siblings and cousins to grandparents and caregivers, should be up-to-date with whooping cough vaccination. Get the Tdap vaccine at least two weeks before coming into close contact with a baby. This gives your body enough time to build up immunity against whooping cough.

Only one dose of Tdap is necessary for most people 11 years and older. If an adult will be around your baby and has already had Tdap vaccine, they do not need to get vaccinated again.