Mom of infant with whoopiong cough implores parents to vaccinate their kids
It’s hard to believe that in this day and age there are still parents who choose to not protect their children from preventable illnesses, but unfortunately there are. One mother is sharing some heartbreaking photos of her infant with whooping cough to implore parents to remember that when it comes to vaccinating — it’s not just about your kids. It’s about everyone’s kids.
Anne Mae Braiden of Victoria, British Columbia wrote a very compelling and heartbreaking Facebook post about the importance of herd immunity. When you choose not to vaccinate your child for non-medical reasons, you are actually putting your community in danger, not just your child.
So I wasn’t going to do this, but I think people need to see what not vaccinating their kids do to the OTHER kids, like…
“So I wasn’t going to do this, but I think people need to see what not vaccinating their kids do to the OTHER kids, like my 6 week old daughter,” Braiden begins. “Isabelle has been in the PEDS ICU since she was 6 weeks old (now 10 weeks) with whooping cough. She was on a ventilator for 3 weeks and CPAP for 3 days (she was the lucky baby, the other ones have been ventilated for months) and we’re still facing another 2 months in the hospital.”
Her daughter Isabelle was too young to receive her whooping cough vaccine — infants aren’t given the whooping cough (Pertussis) vaccine until they are two months old in British Columbia. It’s the same in the U.S.: infants aren’t given the DTaP vaccine until they’re two months old.
“She has to learn how to eat all over again, she’s going through major withdrawals from the morphine and sedative she was on when she was ventilated, do you know how hard it is to watch your 10 week old go through withdrawals,” Braiden asks.
These images are really difficult to look at, but they are an important reminder that vaccinations are not a personal issue, they are a public health issue. There are people who cannot be vaccinated due to age or health issues. If we, as a “herd” vaccinate, we help protect those who cannot be vaccinated. Herd immunity is so important.
When it comes to whooping cough, there is a way pregnant mothers can protect their newborns before they are old enough to get the shot, too. The Center for Disease Control recommends pregnant women receive the whooping cough vaccine (Tdap) during the third trimester of each pregnancy, to help protect their newborns against the disease:
“After receiving the whooping cough vaccine, your body will create protective antibodies (proteins produced by the body to fight off diseases) and pass some of them to your baby before birth. These antibodies provide your baby some short-term protection against whooping cough in early life. These antibodies can also protect your baby from some of the more serious complications that come along with whooping cough.”
The CDC reports that your protective antibodies are at their highest about two weeks after getting the vaccine. So “you should get the vaccine late in your pregnancy, preferably during your 27th through 36th week, to give your baby the most protection when she is born.”
Braiden concludes her post with a plea to parents: “Please vaccinate your kids, it’s not fair that my little girl is in the PICU coughing and not being able to breath from a disease that shouldn’t be around in this day an age.”