Mums-to-be urged to have whooping cough jab

23 October 2012

MUMS-TO-BE in Port Talbot are being urged to have a whooping cough vaccination to protect their baby.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board says jabs are available to pregnant women over 28 weeks. It follows a considerable increase in the number of cases of whooping cough this year.
So far this year in the UK, there have been 302 cases of whooping cough in babies under three months’ old, and nine deaths.
Sara Hayes, ABM director of public health, said: “It’s very important mums-to-be have the whooping cough vaccination to protect their baby.
“Young babies are at particular risk because they are too young to have the whooping cough vaccination and so cannot protect themselves.
“We are encouraging mum to have the vaccination, which will boost her anti-bodies and protect baby by passing the anti-bodies directly through the placenta.
“This protects baby up until they can start having their vaccinations at eight weeks.”
She added: ““The best time for mum to be vaccinated is between 28 and 38 weeks’ pregnant. But don’t worry if you are past 38 weeks or have recently had a baby. If you have never been vaccinated against whooping cough you can still have the vaccination.
“Recently people have raised concern that vaccinations are not available in certain areas of Wales. This is not the case in our areas of Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea.
“Vaccinations are available from all GP surgeries. If you are concerned please contact your GP surgery or your midwife.”
The current outbreak of whooping cough is the largest seen in the UK for over a decade, with a total of 4,791 cases confirmed so far this year in Wales and England.

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