Viral social media posts highlight the importance of whooping cough vaccines

Last week, a New York-based social media user with a large following shared a viral series of posts celebrating the importance of vaccines. She wrote that she once contracted whooping cough as an adult after her childhood whooping cough vaccine wore off. Her 2 misdiagnosed her with asthma, which resulted in prolonged, severe symptoms during which she unknowingly spread the disease. Eventually, she was correctly diagnosed and treated. She concluded her posts by explaining that whooping cough is dangerous for children and that vaccines save lives. Social media users who responded to the posts expressed gratitude for vaccines.

Recommendation: Trending conversations about whooping cough provide an opportunity to educate target populations about the importance of whooping cough vaccines and other recommended vaccines for children. Messaging may emphasize that pertussis, or whooping cough, is highly contagious and can cause serious illness, especially in babies. Vaccinating babies and children against whooping cough is the best way to prevent severe illness and death from the disease. Studies show that diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccines are 98 percent effective one year after vaccination and 71 percent effective five years after vaccination.  Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines are about 70 percent effective at one year and 30 to 40 percent effective at four years after vaccination. Vaccinated people who contract whooping cough are less likely to develop serious symptoms.