Chances are you got the shot as a baby, but now a new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics could have you rolling up your sleeve again to protect yourself from a highly contagious, potentially deadly disease. That recommendation is for adolescents and pregnant women to get the whooping cough vaccine.
Greta Leitheiser and her husband are thrilled to soon be first-time parents, but they're also surprised to find out they're expecting twins.
"I think it's more fear than excitement because you have two coming. How am I going to handle two?" Greta said.
The Leitheisers want to be as prepared as possible. That's one of the reasons she's getting the TDAP vaccine to protect herself and her unborn children from whooping cough.
Local doctors just started vaccinated women during every pregnancy.
"All pregnant women between 28 and 36 weeks of gestation should receive their TDAP shot. TDAP is tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Pertussis is the whooping cough part of it," Sanford Dr. Kristi Hermanson said.
The main reason for the change is because whooping cough cases have risen to a 50 year high.
"Every year there is more and more and this year there is more whooping cough cases than there has been in many, many years," Hermanson said.
Whooping cough can hit infants especially hard. When an expectant mother gets vaccinated, her baby is also better protected.
"The reason why is because if we vaccinate a woman at 28 weeks, she'll make some protective antibodies that will cross the placenta. That will give the baby some immunity against whooping cough," Hermanson said.
Another change in the AAP's recommendation is that adolescents get a booster shot of the vaccine.
"We now know a lot of us are no longer immune, so now we're trying to revaccinate all adults in the country to try to help eliminate or reduce whooping cough," Hermanson said.
And that’s just what Greta hopes this shot will do.
"They're supposed to be preventative medicine, so you don't get it. I don't want either one of them to get whooping cough," Greta said.
Babies can't get the TDAP vaccination until they're two-months-old.
The vaccine is also recommended for adults who are in close contact with a baby who is less than one year old.