Whooping cough is especially dangerous for infants younger than 6 months, so older kids and adults should receive boosters to help protect them, Dr. Aiken says.
Over the past year, viruses such as influenza and RSV haven’t had the chance to circulate as easily due to mask wearing, social distancing and working and learning from home. Now that things are opening back up, Dr. Aiken says viruses can spread much more easily, which could lead to breakthrough cases of measles and whooping cough.
“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the MMR and pertussis vaccines. All vaccines are important, but these two are especially critical for children to receive to help maintain herd immunity,” Dr Aiken says.
If you’re not sure if your child is up to date on vaccinations, contact your child’s pediatrician or other qualified provider to find out, Dr. Aiken says. If your child is behind, make an appointment to get caught up as soon as possible.
“The time and effort involved in getting your child vaccinated is well worth it,” Dr. Aiken says. “You’ll get peace of mind, and your child will benefit from protection from some very serious – and potentially life-threatening – illnesses.”