NHS England has launched a campaign, encouraging pregnant women in Reading to protect their babies and get vaccinated against whooping cough.
The uptake of the whooping cough vaccine is lower in Reading (51.3 per cent) compared to the average in the Thames Valley area (61.4 per cent). Whooping cough is a serious infection that affects increasing numbers of babies across England each year. The infection can cause severe health problems, such as pneumonia, and even death.
Pregnant women can get the whooping cough vaccination from the 28 week of their pregnancy and protect their babies against whooping cough from birth. Young babies are particularly at risk and can’t be vaccinated themselves until two months of age.
NHS England asks all expectant mothers to speak to their GP or midwife about the whooping cough vaccination.
Sally Bradshaw, Consultant in Public Health – Screening and Immunisation, NHS England, said: “Pregnant women should be informed about the benefits associated with getting the whooping cough vaccine. Young babies can’t be vaccinated until two months of age, so getting vaccinated while pregnant, protects a baby during its first few weeks of life.
“We hope that this campaign helps to raise awareness of the potential seriousness of the infection, and encourages more women to seek advice from their GP or midwife about getting vaccinated.”
*Vaccination uptake statistics come from the February 2015 Sentinel survey.