Whooping Cough Vaccination for Pregnant Women

The Department of Health has recommended all pregnant women in their 3rd trimester (28-38 weeks) should be vaccinated against pertussis, commonly known as ‘whooping cough’. This follows a sharp increase in the number of cases especially in babies earlier in 2012.

Pertussis is an infectious respiratory disease characterised by intense, heavy coughing. Adults who are infected are treated with antibiotics and advised to stay away from others to prevent spread of infection. Infants, because their immune systems are still developing, are at greater risk of serious complications from whooping cough such as pneumonia which could lead to death.

For this reason, babies are routinely immunised against whooping cough and other infections from the age of two months. Vaccination of pregnant women with dTaP/IPV (Repevax) will offer protection to newborns during the early weeks after birth when the risk of pertussis is the greatest.

Dr Nicola Wheal

Back to News Archive

Meet the team