Bill to Protect Newborns from Highly Contagious & Sometimes Fatal Whooping Cough Advances in Senate

infant hospital Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Pamela Lampitt and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to help protect newborns from the sometimes fatal disease pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, was advanced by a Senate panel on Thursday.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and often causes uncontrollable, violent coughing, making it hard to breathe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.

“By inoculating mothers and all other adult family members who may come into contact with infants, we can help reduce pertussis cases in infants less than three months old by up to 70 percent,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “It’s important that we inform parents of this option because this simple practice can help save lives.”

Lampitt noted that since 2005, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the CDC has recommended the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) booster vaccine to unvaccinated mothers of newborn infants and other adult family members before the infant’s birth or mother’s discharge from the hospital.

“Knowledge is often the best defense,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Many women may not even know this vaccine is available for their newborns to help ward off this dangerous and potentially fatal disease. This will empower them to decide if this choice is right for their child.”

The bill (A-3978) would direct the Department of Health (DOH) to prepare and make available informational literature on the pertussis vaccine for adults, including, but not limited to, information on the risks of pertussis, the morbidity and mortality rates among infants suffering from pertussis, the availability and efficacy of the Tdap booster vaccine, and the benefits of inoculating pregnant women, a new mother, and other adult family members, with the booster vaccine, prior to an infant’s birth or the mother’s discharge from a hospital or birthing facility, to prevent the transmission of pertussis to the infant.

The bill would require each hospital and birthing facility in the state to distribute to the mother, the informational literature both birth mothers and/or adoptive mothers, and any other family member present at the infant’s birth, by staff designated by the hospital or birthing facility, prior to the mother’s discharge, as part of the hospital or birthing facility’s discharge procedures. The bill would also require the hospitals make the information available on websites or any electronic means.

The measure was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. The full Assembly approved the bill in June and it now awaits final legislative consideration by the full Senate. [TLS]

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6 COMMENTS

  1. How about a bill imposing stiff penalties or jail time on parents who endanger their children and communities by refusing to utilize modern preventative medicine based on some ludicrous unfounded conspiracy theories?

  2. I would be the first person in line to be vaccinated, however it is absolutely not ethical to regulate vaccinations for adult pregnant women…they are given a choice. I agree that they should choose to vaccinate to protect their unborn child, but they should not be forced by imposing jail time or stiff penalties.

  3. anonymrs. generally nobody is forced to vaccinate by imposing jail time or stiff penalties. In fact, you could get exemptions and not vaccinate your children either. This bill is about providing information about the vaccination. For all those concerned, this policy has not been shown to reduce the disease in newborns. In fact, after a person is vaccinated, he carries the virus in his mouth and nose for 6 weeks and could then infect somebody else. This has also happened with the MMR when a newborn caught rubella from his mother who was vaccinated after birth.

  4. I was commenting on #1’s idea to impose jail time or stiff penalties. Furthermore, please provide us with the information you disclosed about a parent’s vaccination causing a full blown case of rubella in a newborn. I have yet to see our hear from a reliable medical source that a non live vaccine “stays in the mouth and nose for 6 weeks”. Please enlighten me and provide a reliable source.

  5. Vaccine companies are feeling the heat from lower sales… they see the handwriting on the wall that in a few years they’ll be completely out of business and are trying to get rid of their stockpiles on the last bit of gullible people out there…

  6. if you are waiting for a “reliable medical source” to give you any information that is anti-vaccine you are waiting for the impossible. Even in the event that doctors in their practice see concerning trends with respect to vaccine usage 99% of doctors will not publicly say anything for fear of a lawsuit, retirbution (i.e. being deemed a nut case), or worse. People the brain that Hashem gave you “al tivtichu bindeevim” if after doing research you think vaccination is the right way to go than vaccinate your child if not don’t but what does what you think have to do with how I care for my child??? (Here’s where the standard .. well your kid can get my kid sick refrain is usually inserted so to this I ask you… if i thought your child could get mine sick so I asked you to give your child medicine which you thought had detrimental long term side affects would you give this medicine to your child just to protect mine?)

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