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San Joaquin County Whooping Cough Death Prompts Call For Pregnant Moms To Get Vaccine

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) — Doctors are making a protection push following the death of a 3-week-old baby from whooping cough in San Joaquin County, urging vaccinations.

For expectant moms like Lisa Real, protecting against it is something she wants to discuss with her doctor.

"I haven't heard of this vaccination at least so far from my doctor, but it's something I want to ask about," she said.

That question comes after health officials say a 3-week-old baby died from the highly contagious disease.

"I think this is a wake up call for mothers that if they're pregnant, get vaccinated," said. Dr. Dean Blumberg with UC Davis Children's Hospital.

He's one of many local doctors encouraging soon-to-be mothers to get the vaccine in the third trimester of every pregnancy. He says it gives them and their child the best defense against pertussis.

"If she's vaccinated during pregnancy, she develops high levels of antibodies to the vaccine and then those antibodies are transferred placentally to the child and so that child is born with that extra protection, so it's kind of a two for one," he said.

According to the California Department of Public Health, San Joaquin County had 215 reported cases of whooping cough last year. In Sacramento, that number was drastically higher, with 448 cases on file.

They're number that don't sit well with Real. But they are important as she weights what's next for her and her baby.

"There are a lot of vaccinations out there and so, you know, it can be a little overwhelming with which ones you want to get," she said.

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