SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - It's the most contagious illness circulating right now and it can be deadly for infants.
That's why pregnant women are being asked to roll up their sleeves to protect their unborn babies from whooping cough.
Dr. John Snyder, a pediatrician at Baystate Children's Hospital, told 22News, "Not only does that protect the baby immediately but even through placental transfer of the immunity, they actually are protected in the womb."
However, one dose of the vaccine won't protect your children for very long, that's why everyone need to get the vaccine and booster shots.
Dr. Snyder explained, "We like to cocoon the baby by vaccinating everyone around the baby anyone who is going to be exposed to young children should be vaccinated that includes parents grandparents, extended family members, babysitters, everyone needs to get vaccinated."
It's a need many people don't realize but parents like Lauren Czarniecki say it's now something that's on their minds.
She said, "If it would help prevent my child from getting it, I would, yes."
Women should get the vaccine after their 20th week of pregnancy.