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 doctor 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 patients 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. Two types of vaccines protect against whooping cough: Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP) vaccines are recommended for babies and children younger than 7 years old; and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines are recommended for children aged 7 and older. Those over the age of seven should receive a pertussis vaccine booster every 10 years.  Learn more about DTaP and Tdap vaccination schedules from the CDC