Pregnant women in Wiltshire urged to get free whooping cough vaccination

Health professionals from NHS England are urging pregnant women in Wiltshire to get vaccinated against whooping cough. This will protect their new baby during its first months from whooping cough, by passing on immunity from mother to child.

Young babies are particularly at risk and can’t be vaccinated themselves until two months of age. On average, six out of ten pregnant women living across Wiltshire are already vaccinated. NHS England is keen to encourage the other 40% of expectant mothers to protect their babies from whooping cough.

Dr Ardiana Gjini, NHS England Screening and Immunisation Lead for BaNES, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire said: “Whooping cough is a serious disease and can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and even death. You can protect your 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 new-born baby is from week 28 to week 32, but vaccination is possible up to 38 weeks of pregnancy. Talk to your midwife or GP and make an appointment to get vaccinated.”

Maggie Rae, Director of Public Health and Public Protection for Wiltshire said: “Vaccination is safe, simple and effective – it not only protects your child from contracting the diseases but they are also less likely to pass the infections on to friends and family.

“Even if you or your child have missed an immunisation at the recommended ages, talk to your doctor, GP, practice nurse or health visitor to arrange for your child to be immunised.”