LOS ANGELES, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Although infants are most at risk of dying from whooping cough, U.S. health officials are advising seniors to get the adult booster shot.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices -- part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- has agreed with California health officials to advise those age 65 and older to get the Tdap shot, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough, the Los Angeles Times reported.
California has been experiencing its worst whooping cough outbreak in 60 years with 10 infants dying and more than 6,000 confirmed cased of the highly contagious disease.
The Tdap vaccine was licensed for adolescents and adults up to age 64 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005, when the adult booster was first made available. However, after evidence that the vaccine is safe for seniors, California health officials advised those age 65 and older to get the vaccine last July.
The current whooping cough outbreak has spread to several other states and the Advisory Committee on Immunization advises adolescents and adults who have not received a dose of the Tdap vaccine, or who do not know if they received the vaccine, to be inoculated immediately.