Whooping cough is a serious disease that can lead to pneumonia and permanent brain damage. Many babies with whooping cough will be admitted to hospital and they are at risk of dying from the disease. Deaths from whooping cough are rare in the UK but more babies have already died this year than in recent years.
Young babies are particularly at risk of serious disease and they remain vulnerable until they can be vaccinated against whooping cough from two months of age. You can help protect your unborn baby from getting whooping cough in its first weeks after birth by having the whooping cough vaccination while you are pregnant. You should have the vaccination even if you’ve been vaccinated before or have had whooping cough yourself.
The best time to get vaccinated to protect your baby is from week 28 to week 38 of your pregnancy – ideally between 28 and 32 weeks.
Talk to your midwife or GP and make an appointment to get vaccinated.
Your baby will still need to be vaccinated as normal when he or she reaches two months of age.