Cocooning refers to vaccinating the people around babies - like parents, siblings, grandparnts, friends, child-care providers, babysitters, and healthcare providers - as a way to protect them from catching diseases. If these people are vaccinated, they are less likely to catch diseases that they can spread to a baby close to them. They surround the baby with a cocoon of protection against disease until he or she is old enough to get all the doses of vaccine needed to be fully protected.


Immunizing Parents

An AAP Technical Report, Immunizing Parents and Other Close Family Contacts in the Pediatric Office, discusses benefits and barriers to immunizing family members in the pediatric office, in order to protect infants and young children against disease. Education on cocooning is also available.



Immunizing In Pregnancy

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that all pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine, which protects against pertussis. The recommendation calls for the vaccination of all pregnant women regardless of whether they have received Tdap in the past. The ACIP also recommends that any women who are not immunized during pregnancy be given the vaccine immediately postpartum, before they leave the hospital or birthing center.


The ACIP also recommends that everyone receive a flu vaccine every year, including pregnant women. In addition to protecting oneself, this also protects babies, who are too young to be vaccinated, from catching influenza.




Education for Families

Anna's Story

Spotlight on HealthAnna Lincoln, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician in Buda, Texas, and a mother of three. Her first-born son, Wiley, became dangerously ill with pneumococcal meningitis when he was a baby.



Last Updated: 5/8/14

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