A study by Kaiser Permanente Colorado's Institute for Health Research has found that children who do not get the whooping cough vaccine are at a high risk of catching the highly contagious virus.
"The U.S. immunization program has been so successful at eliminating so many diseases that we no longer see them. So it's essentially become a victim of its own success," said Dr. Jason Glanz, an epidemiologist who worked on the study.
The study also found that just one in 500 kids who received the vaccine developed the disease, which is characterized by uncontrollable deep coughing.
Pertussis vaccine is administered in five doses between 2 months and 18 months of age in infants. Many US parents are worried about vaccine safety rather than the diseases, Dr Glanz said.
"I'm hoping that our study is an additional piece of information that doctors can use when conveying the risks and benefits," he added.
The details of the study are published in the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics.