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Grandma and Grandpa: vaccination recommendations for expectant grandparents
When a child announces itself, not only mother and father, but also the prospective grandparents should check their vaccination status. Experts warn that intensive contact with the initially unvaccinated grandchildren could be dangerous.
More and more whooping cough infections
The number of whooping cough infections in Germany rose to a new high last year. The childhood disease, which also occurs in adults, is particularly dangerous for infants. The highly contagious infectious disease is transmitted by droplet infection. "Adolescents and adults play an important role as carriers of infants," wrote the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on its website. If necessary, they should also be vaccinated in order to avoid infection.
Grandparents should check their vaccination status
The same also applies to prospective grandmothers and grandpas: if a grandchild announces itself, make sure to check your own vaccination status. Because the intensive contact with the initially unvaccinated grandchildren should be as safe as possible for both sides.
Wiebke Hellenbrand from the RKI Vaccine Prevention Department said in a message from the dpa news agency: "Because whooping cough can be life-threatening in infants, grandparents-to-be should definitely be vaccinated against it."
According to the expert, you can't protect the little ones yourself immediately. They rely on the people around them being vaccinated.
Every three years for the triple vaccination
"Vaccination against whooping cough is carried out together with tetanus and diphtheria as a triple vaccine," explained Hellenbrand.
Because adults of all ages should be vaccinated against tetanus and diphtheria anyway every ten years, this tripartite vaccination makes sense. Even if vaccination against one of the diseases was carried out less than ten years ago.
For grandparents who are over 60 years old, Hellenbrand also recommends an annual flu shot and a pneumococcal vaccine.
"Pneumococci are the main cause of bacterial pneumonia in Europe," wrote the RKI in a communication on the revised vaccination recommendations of the Standing Committee on Vaccination at the Robert Koch Institute (STIKO).
Accordingly, children under the age of two, people over the age of 60, and children, adolescents and adults with certain basic diseases, for example people with an immune deficiency or with chronic heart or lung diseases, are particularly at risk. (ad)