FILED IN: Health

Sarah Michelle Gellar advocates for pertussis vaccine

Sarah Michelle Gellar on board with whooping cough vaccination. Screen shot via Fox News.
Sarah Michelle Gellar on board with whooping cough vaccination. Screen shot via Fox News.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” actress and mom to two young children says she wants to educate parents on the importance of vaccines, particularly the pertussis vaccine, which protects children against whooping cough.

Gellar, 36, has been married to actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. since 2002. Together, they have a daughter, Charlotte Grace Prinze, 3, and son Rocky James Prinze, 9 months. Gellar has embraced her role as a mother, choosing to focus on family rather than her career over the last few years.

Gellar appeared on Fox News Health on Tuesday to announce her partnership with the March of Dimes in creating awareness of the value of life saving immunizations.

Gellar spoke with Dr. Manny on Tuesday and said, ““I’m just like everyone else out there.”

“I’m a mom trying to keep my kids healthy, but I also have access to so much information that I can then go through it all and make it easier for people to understand.  You’re talking about an illness that doesn’t have to exist.  The only way to help fight against it is to get the vaccine, and that’s a simple way,” Gellar continued.

Whooping cough is on the rise in the U.S., with more than 41,000 cases developing in 2012, causing at least 18 deaths according to the CDC.

Gellar also stated this alarming statistic, “Eighty percent of the children who came down with it, they can track it back to a family member that brought it in, and 50 percent were the actual parents.  I know there’s nothing worse as a new parent than you thinking that you got your child sick…It’s a simple vaccination for an adult to get every five years, and that’s it.  It’s the only safe way to prevent the child from getting the disease.”

Gellar said it is important for adults to get the pertussis vaccine to protect babies around them who may be immune compromised. She said that her children have had the shot and so has she.

According to Fox News:

Gellar said it is important for people to do the necessary research and talk with the right people before making any judgments.  Gellar, along with many health care professionals, maintain there are minimal side effects when it comes to getting the shot.

“I think there is a lot of misinformation out there about vaccines,” the actress suggested.