I’ve about had it with people who refuse to get vaccinated and so is Chuck Schumer.
And for good reason. In New York state, the number of whooping cough cases has tripled – tripled — since last year. As a result, Sen. Schumer is calling for free vaccines. He wants the federal government to work with state officials to to make sure every adult gets vaccinated if they haven’t been since age 18.
Yes, adults need to be vaccinated against whooping cough. I know it seems a little counter-intuitive. I mean, we vaccinate our kids because kids are weak and we don’t want them to get sick and die. As it turns out, in order to help kids not get sick and die, adults need to get the jab. Kids 12 months and younger have the highest rate of infection with half of those cases occurring in children under three months old. That’s because babies are too young to receive the vaccine.
It sounds like babies are just out of luck, but that’s not the case. If adults are vaccinated against whooping cough, babies get some of that benefit. It’s a win-win.
Sen. Schumer isn’t overplaying his hand by suggesting that every state get its act together. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, nationwide there have been 18,000 reported cases of whooping cough, the highest in 50 years. Washington state has also been hit especially hard by this highly contagious, but very preventable, disease.
Even if the federal government doesn’t help states provide free whooping cough immunizations, there are some good campaigns, like Hug Me! I’m Vaccinated that are doing good work promoting education and even occasionally providing free vaccines. It’s a small step that can save many, many lives.
Image credit: MilitaryHealth
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