Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, May 04, 2012

Why you should get immunised against tetanus, whooping cough, and diptheria

Idaho infant dies from whooping cough amid regional outbreak

Washington whooping cough epidemic spurs release of extra funds, call for CDC help

For adults, it's a booster called a TDaP. For kids, it's DTap. Each vaccine protects against tetanus (T), diptheria (D), and pertussis (P), also known as whooping cough. The more people immuninised, the less likely outbreaks will happen, because there's also something called 'herd immunity', whereby the immmunised populace help protect the few who aren't, such as infants too young to get the shot--or me.

See, some people can't take the vaccine, such as those who reacted to the pertussis vaccine in the past. I did that when I was a kid. My whole arm got red and swollen, and so they advise me against getting it. As a person working in a hospital, I was offered the TDaP, and on my doctor's advice had to refuse it formally. Fortunately you can still get tetanus-only and TD vaccine as well.

But in cases of outbreaks, what protects those of us who can't take the vaccine is the sheer number of you out there who are vaccinated. Adults often do not realise there are vaccines out there for them, and think their days of vaccination are gone with their school days. This is not true. Here is a list of the vaccines recommended for adults and at what ages in a PDF format. For more on vaccinations, visit the Centers for Disease Control's vaccine page or this one from Pfizer.

No comments: