Lung association urges whooping cough vaccinations

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 3:52 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The American Lung Association says more people need to be vaccinated against whooping cough, also known as pertussis.

It says only 30 percent of adults are vaccinated against the respiratory illness.

The organization’s chief medical officer says we are seeing a resurgence of the infection, possibly because of a change in the bacteria itself or the fact that many adults don’t have immune protection because they are not keeping their vaccination up to date.

Dr. Albert Rizzo says it’s important to get the vaccine every 10 years.

“It’s a very contagious infection so unknowingly you may be passing this to children who aren’t immunized. You might pass it over to elderly individuals or those with lung disease who have not been vaccinated up to date. So, it’s more transmittable than influenza and COVID so you’re not only helping yourself by staying vaccinated but you’re really protecting other loved ones and family members who may get this infection from you,” he said.

Dr. Rizzo says whooping cough is especially a concern for people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

He says the illness could lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.