Three Reasons for Grandparents to be Immunised

Immunisation is an emotive topic and can cause an absolute firestorm amongst friends and family. And add to that a generational difference amongst parents and grandparents over parenting approaches, immunising Grandparents can be a tough issue to tackle. But it’s worth pursuing it as we all know how devastating whooping cough can be to a new born. But it’s more that just the new born age that’s a problem. On the back of World Immunisation Week, here are three reasons why it’s worth asking Grandparents to be immunised.

Babies are Vulnerable

With every contagious disease, in every case, babies are more vulnerable than any other demographic of the population. That’s a fact. If it wasn’t true there wouldn’t be a government-funded immunisation program designed to protect one of the most vulnerable groups of society. That fact alone is enough to compel an adult into, not only protecting themselves, but their child or grandchild as well. There are some specific infections that are especially dangerous for babies and as such immunisation against these is worth serious consideration.

Whooping Cough

Here are a few facts around whooping cough in case you don’t know much about the the disease. Whooping cough is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a bacteria known as Bordetella pertussis. It starts like a cold but quickly progresses to the characteristic ‘whoop’ cough that comes from drawing a deep breath after a coughing fit.

Babies under the age of six months are particularly vulnerable to whooping cough, and are more likely to suffer with complications. One in every 200 babies that contracts whooping cough will die from it. An adult can easily have whooping cough and not be aware of it as the characteristic ‘whoop’ is not present in every case, particularly if it is a mild occurrence. But even a mild occurrence can be fatal in a new born.  Immunisation against hooping cough also contains protection against diphtheria and tetanus. The NSW Government Health Department recommend that “adult household members, grandparents and carers of infants under 12 months of age” be immunised against it.

Influenza (Flu)

In 2017 Australia had more than 200,000 cases of registered flu infections and close to 400 deaths from the flu. While a flu shot is no guarantee of avoiding the flu, it will offer some protection and perhaps reduce the severity and duration of the virus. Again, it comes down to babies under 12 months being one of the most vulnerable groups of the population so if you’re spending time with a little baby a flu shot should be on your agenda. It’s also worth remembering that while babies are one of the most vulnerable groups of the population, the other group is the elderly or the aging. Most Grandparents fall in to that category so it’s not just for the protection of the baby, it’s for their own protection as well.

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