Call to cut whooping cough risk in babies

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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PREGNANT women in the area are being advised to get vaccinated against whooping cough in order to protect their unborn child.

The guidance comes from NHS England, which says young babies are particularly at risk and can’t be vaccinated themselves until two months of age.

The trust said on average around six out of every 10 pregnant women from Portsmouth are vaccinated, but NHS England wants the other expectant mothers to protect their babies from whooping cough.

Dr Clare Simpson, Hampshire immunisation lead, said: ‘Whooping cough is serious and can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and even death. ‘You can protect your unborn baby from getting whooping cough in its first weeks after birth by having the whooping cough vaccination while you are pregnant.

‘The best time to get vaccinated to protect your baby is from week 28 to week 38 of your pregnancy – between 28 and 32 weeks is best to pass on immunity. Talk to your midwife or GP.’