Extremely sad news: 5 infants in California have died from pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough. With 910 cases of pertussis so far and an additional 600 possible cases being investigated, California has declared it an epidemic. Whooping cough, which is generally more serious in infants since their immune system is still developing, starts out as a cough and runny nose, and turns into violent coughing fits that sometimes make a whooping sound. Vaccination for pertussis begin at 2 months, but babies are not fully protected until the full series of shots is completed at 6 months. Until then, they depend on the people around them to be vaccinated – and many children and adults are not.
Read on to find out why vaccines are so important: