This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Pregnant women urged to take up whooping cough vaccination

Written by: | Published:

Lower risk of whooping cough if mothers vaccinated Lower risk of whooping cough if mothers vaccinated

All pregnant women should have the whooping cough vaccine after new figures from Public Health England have shown that whooping cough levels were still high in England.

There were more laboratory confirmed whooping cough cases reported in the first six months of 2015 (1744 cases) than in the same period in 2014 (1412 cases).

Pregnant women have been offered whooping cough vaccine since October 2012 in response to the national outbreak. The new data shows that from April 2014 to March 2015, whooping cough vaccine coverage in pregnant women averaged 56.4% in England.

The data shows that confirmed cases of whopping cough in babies under three months of age remain low, indicating that the vaccination programme is protecting young babies from birth. But the latest figures show that, overall, reported whooping cough cases are still at raised levels in England, meaning that babies born to unvaccinated mothers remain vulnerable to the disease in the first few weeks.

These totals remain higher than those observed before the outbreak began, although they are lower than the numbers observed in the same period in 2012 and 2013.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at Public Health England, said: 'The latest figures show that whooping cough is still prevalent in England and it's important that pregnant women visit their GP surgery or midwife to get vaccinated, ideally between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. Being vaccinated against whooping cough while you're pregnant is a highly-effective way to protect your baby in the first few weeks of their life.

'The immunity you get from the vaccine passes to your baby and provides them with protection until they are old enough to be routinely vaccinated against whooping cough at two months old,' she

adds.

PHE research discovered that babies born to women who were vaccinated at least a week before birth had a 91% reduced risk of becoming ill with whooping cough in their first weeks of life, compared to babies whose mothers had not been vaccinated.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.