Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kaliah's Law

What do pneumonia, apnea, encephalopathy (brain damage), seizures, fractured ribs, miscarriage and death have in common? They are the potential complications of the avoidable disease Pertussis, or otherwise known as Whooping Cough.  Pertussis can cause significant life-threatening medical problems in young children and those who are not fully vaccinated or up to date with their immunizations.  Reported cases of this vaccine-preventable disease are increasing at an alarming rate. In 2010, 27,550 cases of Pertussis were reported in the United States; 3,350 of those cases were in infants younger than 6 months of age — 25 of those infants died.

Across the United States, medical professionals and politicians are coming to together to advocate the importance of the Pertussis vaccine and booster, while parents and affected family members are also becoming involved to spread the message: Vaccines save lives.  It’s vital everyone steps up in order to protect each other, especially the most vulnerable to the effects of Pertussis by receiving their vaccines.

Kaliah's Law is an example of a family working together after tragedy to prevent others from the loss and devastation they encountered in 2011. Kaliah Dailynn Holly Jeffery died at the age of 27 days, a heartbreaking victim of the Washington State Pertussis outbreak.  To commemorate her short life, her family is working hard with local, county, and state government to implement Kaliah’s law.  The family is stepping up their efforts during the one-year anniversary of Kaliah’s life—a time they have dubbed “Kaliah’s 27 Days.” Their goal is to have legislation written in January 2013, which would require that the Department of Health publicize and mail an “Official Public Health Warning Notice” to all households, businesses, and PO Boxes in the area. The notices would serve to warn citizens of the epidemic, so they may react accordingly.

Before her birth, Kaliah’s parents were unaware that that their home state Washington was among the top 5 states experiencing a Pertussis outbreak (It's "Very, Very Bad"). They had not been informed about the dangers their newborn faced from the Pertussis outbreak, nor were they educated about the importance for those who would have close contact with the infant to obtain the Pertussis booster

(To date there are 15 States with incidence of Pertussis the same or higher than the national incidence (as of July 5, 2012), which is 5.24/100,000 persons
New York State
New Mexico

In the United States, the recommended Pertussis vaccine for infants and children is called DTaP.  Kaliah would not be able to receive the first dose of the DTap until at least 2 months of age. For maximum protection against Pertussis, children need 5 DTaP shots. The first 3 shots are given to infants at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. As such, care must be given to ensure that parents & caregivers are vaccinated against the disease by receiving the Tdap vaccination at least two weeks prior to coming into contact with an infant.  

As part of “Kaliah’s 27 Days” campaign, from now until August 16th advocates of Kaliah’s Law are looking for supporters to sign the petition, and contact their local legislators. The Facebook event page has a link for every state in the information section.

Kaliah’s Aunt, Kennetha Scott, has been unwavering with her campaign for Kaliah’s Law on her Blog, Kennetha’s Korner, and Facebook page- Two great sources for additional information and updates on the law.
Nurses Who Vaccinate proudly supports Kaliah’s Law which would notify communities and citizens of ongoing epidemics in their neighborhood. Once alerted, residents could seek information from their medical physicians and their State Department of Health, regarding boosters and proper precautions. Nurses are essential in public health education and prevention -  Kaliah’s Law is an excellent intervention for pro-active nurses to support - The death of an infant reminds us there are vulnerable people in our community and the only way to protect them and prevent future casualties, is if everybody is  vaccinated.


  1. Great post, I love reading articles like this about nurses helping! I am a nurse and I'm going through a Healthcare Staffing Agency right now so hopefully I can find a job soon. So news like this really speak to me, thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. What is the risk to nurses working in the cancer field (oncology) due to their proximity to cancer causing drugs and radiation and chemotherapy? I am hearing stories of many oncology nurses loosing their hair?

    phlebotomy schools in minnesota

  3. I will actually appreciate the writer's selection for choosing this excellent article related to my issue.Here is deep description about the article issue which supported me more. Houston personal injury

  4. Sometime last week I saw a program on TV where some parents insisted that they have s right to refuse repeated requests to have their children vaccinated. I don't understand why education to a certain level is guaranteed by law and yet children could be denied vaccination by ignorant parents for whatever reason. If children are not vaccinated then they could catch all sorts and transfer to other kids. Why can't vaccination of children be made mandatory by law?

    phlebotomy training pennsylvania