DEAR DOCTOR K: My son says that if I get a booster shot for pertussis, it will help protect his kids from getting whooping cough. That seems far-fetched to me.
DEAR READER: It's not far-fetched. Even if you were immunized against pertussis (the bacteria that cause whooping cough) as a child, you may need a booster shot. Why? Because pertussis is highly contagious, and without a booster shot you are at some risk for getting it. And if you get it, you could pass it on to your grandkids.