Michigan mother works to raise vaccine awareness after losing baby to whooping cough

In 2012, Veronica McNally lost her infant daughter to whooping cough before she was old enough to complete the full course of protective vaccinations against the respiratory infection.

After losing Francesca, she founded Franny Strong Foundation to educate the community about the part vaccines play in disease prevention.

"This is one of the reasons I created the IVaccinateCampaign where parents can go to Ivaccinate.org and get answers to questions," she said.

Baby Francesca died from whooping cough when she caught the illness before she was old enough to receive a full course of vaccines against it.

McNally is also the consumer representative on the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group that consists of 14 doctors.

"For me, it’s about bringing consumer perspective to advisory committee proceedings," she said about her role on the committee.

McNally is a nominated member of the committee whose voice is backed by research. She said the CDC is currently addressing the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

"The clinical trials are currently in place," she said. "Dr. Faucci has said we may see a vaccine later this fall."

McNally has three children and believes a pediatric vaccine would provide much-needed protection.

"There is a significant pediatric burden of disease for coronavirus so it would protect kids and surrounding community members," she said.

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