VAXBaby 04: Should family members get vaccines before birth?

You may have heard family members who are going to be in contact with your baby should get vaccinated. There are thousands of different viruses and bacteria that can be spread from person to person. Most of them have no vaccine available. While a few of them do have a vaccine available, many of them do not prevent the spread of the disease.

This is a strange concept to understand, and even many of the government health websites don’t appear to get it. The main vaccine doctors will recommend family members get is the TDaP shot—tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough. The reason they cite is something they call “cocooning.” If everyone around your baby is protected from a particular disease, they argue this will then protect them in a cocoon of immunity.