Banner Health News Center  

Banner Health recommending mothers get vaccinated against whooping cough


PHOENIX (Dec. 3, 2013) – Cases of Pertussis, better known as whooping cough, are on the rise in Arizona. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports there were more than 48,000 confirmed cases of pertussis in 2012 in the US with nearly 3,000 cases in infants younger than three months.

Banner Health and March of Dimes will present a free webinar called: Whopping Cough – Protecting Your Family, including your unborn child from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16. Banner Health Board Certified OBGYN Teresa Malcolm, MD will lead the discussion in conjunction with Dr. Siobhan Dolan, M.D., M.P.H., obstetrician-gynecologist and clinical geneticist who serves as a medical advisor to March of Dimes. Click here to register or visit

Out of the pertussis cases reported, nearly half were mothers who transmitted the disease to their child. Banner Health staff is protecting infants from the highly contagious disease before they’re born.

In coordination with guidelines set forth by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the CDC, Banner Health recommends that women in their third trimester of each pregnancy receive the Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.

“Administering the Tdap vaccination to women between 27 and 36 weeks gestation maximizes the maternal antibody response and passive antibody transfer to the infant,” said Dr. Malcolm.  “By vaccinating pregnant women, we are also protecting infants and children in their care.”

According to Dr. Malcolm, newborns can’t be safely immunized until they’re two months of age. Medical experts at Banner Health say immunizing those who have close contact with a newborn against pertussis, in addition to pregnant women, will offer best protection.

About Banner Health
Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system manages 24 acute-care hospitals, the Banner Health Network and Banner Medical Group, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services including family clinics, home care and hospice services, and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

About March of Dimes
March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies®, March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit or

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