New whooping cough advice for pregnant women

The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies has announced that all pregnant women will be offered vaccinations against whooping cough following a rise in the number of cases in young babies.

by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 28th September 2012

The temporary vaccination programme is due to begin next week, and is aimed at boosting the short term immunity Mums pass on to their new born babies who are not vaccinated until 2 months.

Increase in cases

According to new figures released by the Health Protection Agency, from January to August this year 302 cases of whooping cough were reported in infants under 12 weeks of age, a figure which is more than double the number for the whole of 2011 (115).

Davies says that ‘whooping cough is highly contagious and newborns are particularly vulnerable.  It’s vital that babies are protected from the day they are born – that’s why we are offering the vaccine to all pregnant women’.

Recommended by experts

Professor David Salisbury, Director of Immunisation says:

“Over the last year we have seen a large rise in the number of whooping cough cases with the most serious cases being in children too young to be protected by routine vaccinations.  The vaccine that we are offering to pregnant women has been recommended by experts and a similar vaccine is already given to pregnant women in the US.  If you are pregnant, getting vaccinated is the best way you can protect your baby against whooping cough.”

Source:  The Department of Health, Pregnant women to be offered whooping cough vaccination, 28th September 2012

Photo: Daquella Manera @ Flickr

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