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Texas Hospital nation's first to use large-scale 'cocoon strategy' against whooping cough
Date:1/25/2008

ll administer whooping cough booster vaccines, called Tdap, to approximately 5,800 families at Houstons Ben Taub General Hospital (BTGH), administering over 17,000 shots in the first year.

According to Dr. Healy, the cocoon strategy involves first educating the mother and her family about pertussis and the Tdap vaccine before administering the booster vaccine. The program team, working in collaboration with BTGH staff, is prepared to communicate with families in both English and Spanish. The first year of this program is made possible by a grant from the Baylor Methodist Community Health Fund.

This program enables us to provide whooping cough education and booster vaccines to adolescent and adult family members who need it, helping protect the most vulnerable newborn and young infants, said Dr. Healy. At the same time, we will explore efficient processes to optimize this intervention and potentially reduce serious pertussis disease in our community.

Using the cocoon strategy vaccination model to prevent whooping cough has been recommended by the CDC since 2006, but has not been implemented by health care organizations.

We commend Texas Childrens Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research for undertaking this important project, said Dr. Melinda Wharton, deputy director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC. Not only will it benefit the families receiving the vaccine, but we are sure it will contribute to our understanding of pertussis prevention.

Dr. Healy said the rise in pertussis cases is largely attributed to the fact that the vaccine most people received during childhood eventually wears off. Adolescents and adults who do not receive a booster vaccine are susceptible to this infection. In addition, young infants do not have full immunity until they have received three doses of the vaccine.


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Contact: Carol Wittman
cmwittma@texaschildrenshospital.org
832-824-2040
Texas Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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