Immunize Nevada Applauds Governor Sandoval’s Immunization Budget

July 17, 2013—(Reno, Nev.) Immunize Nevada, along with the Nevada State Immunization Program, applauds Governor Sandoval for his commitment to preventive care and keeping Nevadans healthy and protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. The Governor approved a $1 million budget enhancement request in the biennial budget to support the Nevada State Immunization Program’s “Cocooning Program” over the next two years to prevent pertussis, also known as whooping cough.  Cocooning is the process of immunizing new parents, other family members and close contacts of newborns with Tdap vaccine to protect the baby from pertussis. 


“The Cocooning Program not only positions Nevada as a leader in the country for preventing whooping cough, recent data supports that the program is working,” said Heidi Parker, Immunize Nevada Executive Director. “Governor Sandoval’s commitment to keeping families and babies protected from whooping cough through cocooning is exemplary and should be celebrated.”


Nevada is credited with pioneering and implementing cocooning and is the national model for other pertussis prevention programs. Nevada’s Cocooning Program is different from other national programs because the Nevada State Immunization Program uses cocooning before and after the newborn arrives.  Also, it is noteworthy that 100 percent of Nevada’s birthing hospitals and 34 OB/GYN offices practice cocooning.


Whooping cough has been on the rise nationally in recent years and in some states is considered to be an epidemic. Cases reported by each state to the CDC jumped from 18,719 nationally in 2011 to 41,880 in 2012. In Nevada, there were 112 cases reported in 2012, an incidence rate of 4.08 cases per 100,000 people. The national incidence rate of pertussis is 13.4 cases per 100,000 people. Last year 18 pertussis-related deaths were reported nationally, however there have been no pertussis-related deaths in Nevada. A total of 69 pertussis cases have been reported in Nevada since January 2013.


“Newborns are too young to be immunized against whooping cough,” adds Parker. “The Nevada State Immunization Program has demonstrated that by giving Tdap vaccine to all those around a newborn, we can wrap it in a cocoon of safety. With this simple shot, families are not only protecting their baby from a terrible disease, they are also protecting their entire family from the worry, anxiety and heartache that can result from a newborn with pertussis. This program simply works.”


More information about Nevada’s Cocooning Program is available at In addition, information from the March of Dimes and the Sounds of Pertussis is available at, featuring actress and mother-of-two, Sarah Michelle Gellar.