Pregnant women urged to get vaccine

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PREGNANT women across Hampshire are being urged to get the whooping cough vaccination following an increase in cases.

The jab will boost short term immunity passed on by women to their babies while they’re still in the womb.

Newborns will still need to be vaccinated between two and four months of age, so that they continue to be protected.

GPs will give the injection to women who are at least 28 weeks pregnant.

As reported, cases of whooping cough increased from eight in 2011 in Hampshire, to 180 this year.

And in Portsmouth, there was one reported case last year compared to nine this year.

Dr Andrew Mortimore, director of public health for Portsmouth, said: ‘Whooping cough affects all ages, but this ongoing national increase has extended to very young babies – it’s this age group that is most likely to suffer severe complications or even death.

‘That’s why the Department of Health is urging all women who are 28 weeks pregnant or more to have the vaccination.’

Visit nhs.uk and search for whooping cough vaccination.