Pregnant Women To Be Offered Whooping Cough Vaccine

A new whooping cough vaccine is to be offered to pregnant women across the UK, in an effort to protect babies from an escalating outbreak of the disease.

It is known that very young babies are at the greatest risk of serious complications. Ten have died in the UK so far this year.

The injection, available from Monday, should boost a mother's defences, which are then passed onto the baby.

Health officials say there are no safety concerns about the vaccine.

There are surges in whooping cough cases every three to four years and the latest outbreak started at the end of 2011. It is already the worst for more than a decade.

Prof David Salisbury, the director of immunisation at the Department of Health, said: "We're boosting the mother to protect the baby. We can't protect babies until they are eight weeks, but their mothers can."


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 September 2015
Pregnant Women Urged To Get Whooping Cough Vaccine
Pregnant women are being encouraged to take up the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine, after new figures revealed the disease remains at increased levels in England. Published today, the data for the year to March 2015, shows whooping cough vaccine coverage in pregnant women averaged 56.4% in England.
21 December 2012
Whooping Cough Cases 'High'
Figures published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show that cases of whooping cough have continued at high levels. In November there was 1,080 confirmed cases reported for England and Wales, bringing the total number of cases so far this year to 8,819. No deaths were reported in November.
01 February 2013
January Sees Further Fall In Whooping Cough Cases
Health Protection Agency figures for England and Wales show that whooping cough cases have slowed over the last two months. It follows the largest outbreak for 20 years. In December 832 cases were recorded, almost half the total from October. During the outbreak 14 babies died, the last death coming in December.