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Immunization Cocooning

Mercy patients were the first in the Cedar Rapids area to take advantage of immunization cocooning. Watch this FOX-28 segment to learn more:

In January 2012, the Birthplace initiated a TDaP (vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) “cocooning” program – an important health initiative designed to give newborn babies an extra layer of protection from whooping cough before they go home from the hospital, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mercy worked in close cooperation with Linn Co. Public Health to put this program in place.

It works like this: Before the infant is discharged, Mercy offers TDaP vaccinations to family members and others who will be in close contact with the newborn. The vaccinations are given primarily to prevent pertussis (whooping cough). Pertussis is spread through the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes. Infants are highly susceptible to the virus and cannot be vaccinated themselves until they are two months old. Cases of pertussis typically increase in the winter months. Often, caregivers are the carriers and don’t realize it. 

The TDaP vaccinations are administered by a registered nurse within the mother’s birth suite. In addition to receiving the vaccine, families with newborns are urged to wash hands frequently, cover mouth and nose when sneezing and get yearly flu shots.