Covenant Medical Center Starts Cocooning Program to Protect Newborns
by Augusta Sires
Starting in July, the Family Birth Center at Covenant Medical Center introduced a new program called ‘Cocooning.’ This program aims to immunize those people that come in closest contact with a newborn. A pertussis (whooping cough) booster vaccine is given to this specific group of people in order to create a ‘cocoon’ around a newborn, increasing protection from pertussis.
“Young infants have the highest rate of pertussis,” said Suzanne Bellinger, RNC-OB, MSN, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Covenant. “Pertussis can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening complications in infants, especially within the first 6 months of life. We hope that by implementing this new program, we’ll protect more and more infants from this illness.”
Before leaving the hospital, family members of newborns born in the Family Birth Center at Covenant will now be offered the option to get a pertussis booster vaccine.
“Getting a pertussis booster vaccine will be offered to each family, but is not mandatory to have. We offer it as an extra precaution you can take to help protect your baby from getting sick,” said Mrs. Bellinger.
Participating in ‘cocooning’ your baby is highly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are not a patient of the Family Birth Center at Covenant, but would like to have a pertussis booster vaccine administered, contact your primary care provider.