If you have an infant at home, a few family members who might need to see a doctor for a vaccination are the child’s grandparents.
American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people who are over the age of 65—a group that was excluded from vaccine recommendations—get a tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (TdaP) vaccine if they will spend any amount of time with their newest family member.
The expansion in the age group for the recommended vaccine follows an increase in whooping-cough infections in 2010. According to CDC, 27,550 cases of whooping cough were reported in 2010 (the most recent data available), and many cases go unreported.
Infants are vulnerable to diseases in their first year before they receive all of their vaccinations. Besides continuous coughing that makes it difficult to breathe and eat, whooping cough can cause brain damage, pneumonia and seizures. Whooping cough can be a life-threatening disease for an infant.
Although the new recommendation extends to grandparents, CDC recommends that anybody who will be around an infant who’s under 1 year of age should get a TdaP vaccine if he/she hasn’t had one in the past 10 years.
The vaccination typically costs about $40 and is covered by some private insurance plans.