Cocooning approved by doctor group

A large group of U.S. doctors on Monday approved a process called cocooning, which allows pediatricians to offer vaccines to close family members of babies who are too young to get shots themselves.
Cocooning is meant to stop diseases from reaching an infant in the first place and is supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier this month, however, Canadian government researchers suggested that at least for pertussis, cocooning is inefficient and costly, Reuters reports.
The study estimated that to prevent one infant death from the disease in British Columbia or Quebec, at least one million parents would have to be vaccinated at the cost of approximately $20 Canadian per shot.
The U.S. report, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in the journal Pediatrics, does not directly recommend that pediatricians begin to offer parents shots but approves the process. The main focus of the cocooning process is on the TDaP vaccine and flu shots. Because babies have to be at least six weeks old to get the TDaP vaccine and six months old to get a flu shot, the researchers said that cocooning is still a reasonable strategy to shield infants.
The researchers for both reports have acknowledged that there is not much evidence on how effective cocooning is, according to Reuters. The Canadian study used calculations to estimate that to prevent one baby from being hospitalized, between 10,000 and 20,000 people would need to be vaccinated.
While rates of pertussis infection have dropped over the past half century, they have begun to rise again over the past few years. Approximately one in 1,000 U.S. infants was infected with pertussis in 2010.
"The goal here is to get everyone immunized," Herschel R. Lessin, a pediatrician who worked on the U.S. report, said, according to Reuters. "As pediatricians, we think immunization is the greatest thing in the history of mankind."