By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Whooping Cough can be prevented by the Pertussis vaccine and infants get the vaccine at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. There are repeated vaccinations throughout life.

But if the child has not had the vaccine or if they have not had a full preventive immunization series they can pick up whooping cough if they are exposed. One of the problems is adults, grandparents included, can spread whooping cough if they are not protected.

The issue has been that people over 65 are not being given the vaccine because there is a fear that it has not been tested and safe for them. Now new information in the Clinical Infectious Disease Journal suggests it is safe for the elderly.

If people over 65 can start getting that vaccine it can help reduce the spread especially to those who are most vulnerable.

Dr. Brian McDonough