01 July 2013
Expectant mothers are reminded by the Public Health department that they can help protect their babies in the first few weeks after birth by getting vaccinated against whooping cough.
Cases of whooping cough are still persisting in the UK, and as a result of this, Public Health continues to make whooping cough vaccine available to pregnant women.
Whooping cough vaccination is available for women at or over 28 weeks pregnant through GP surgeries. Midwives at the General Hospital will also be reminding mothers-to-be about the vaccination as part of their routine appointments.
Dr Ivan Muscat, Consultant Microbiologist said: “The latest evidence shows that the infection is still circulating in the UK, and given the close travel links that exist between Jersey and many parts of the UK, we think it is prudent that vaccination should continue to be available.
“The vaccine is safe to have in pregnancy from 28 weeks gestation; it is being used in the UK and has been used in the United States since June 2011 for pregnant women in the third trimester.
“The immunity provided by the vaccine is passed across the placenta and this helps protect babies in their first few weeks of life until they are old enough to have their own immunisations at two, three and four months old. This immunisation provides direct protection for the baby against whooping cough, as well as certain other infections.”
Pregnant women wishing to know more about receiving the vaccine should contact their GP or discuss this with a midwife.