We have all heard of the recent whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak in California which infected six thousand and resulted in the death of 10 infants.
The best way to prevent whooping cough is to be vaccinated against it. However, since the age for immunizing infants is 6 to 8 weeks, and that even then this will not offer proper immunity until later, parents may worry that in these first months of life, their newborn baby is vulnerable to infection.
Since it takes several doses of a vaccine for the infant to build up resistance to the infection, parents should use passive Immunization to protect their babies. It involves vaccinating the older population that is going to be around the baby.
If parents, older children and others who are going to be close to the baby such as grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins, other family members and friends are properly immunized, they will create resistance to infection themselves.
Since they are protected against the disease, they will not pass it on to the infant and will thereby effectively use their own immunity to protect the baby.
For this reason, immunizations in respect of the general population are in the interests of protecting newborn health.