Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Vaccine

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Whooping cough is a bacterial infection of the lungs and airways. It spreads very easily through coughing and sneezing and can sometimes cause serious health problems, especially in young babies. If you’re pregnant, it’s important to take up the #Pertussis vaccine when offered. It helps to protect your baby in their first few weeks of life, as #WhoopingCough can be life-threatening and require hospital treatment.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough:

  • Common cold
  • Runny nose
  • High fever
  • Cough that causes vomiting
  • A “whooping” sound when gasping for breath between coughs

Coughing is often worse overnight. Babies under 3 months old who are not fully protected through immunisation are at the highest risk of developing severe complications including pauses in breathing (apnoea), dehydration, pneumonia, or seizures.

When to have the vaccine:

The best time to get vaccinated to protect your baby is between 20 to 32 weeks of pregnancy. The vaccine is usually offered to women after their 20-week scan. Mums-to-be can contact their midwife or GP surgery if they have reached week 20 of their pregnancy and are unsure whether they have had the vaccine.

Once your baby is born the whooping cough vaccine is given as part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule in the UK at 8,
12 and 16 weeks of age with a booster offered preschool. This programme provides good protection against severe disease but protection after vaccination and disease will wane over time.

For more information:

Use this link, contact us or your midwife.