Intended for healthcare professionals


Pregnant women in UK are offered whooping cough vaccine to protect newborns

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 28 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6594
  1. Matthew Billingsley
  1. 1BMJ

Pregnant women in the United Kingdom are being urged to be vaccinated against whooping cough to protect their babies against the virus.

The recommendation from the Department of Health for England follows new figures showing that 10 people, all infants under 12 months old, have died from whooping cough in the UK so far this year (nine in England and one in Northern Ireland). This is the highest mortality since 1982, when there were 14 deaths.

Whooping cough has increased in incidence in England and Wales since 2011, when there were 525 reported cases and five deaths. So far this year 4791 cases have been reported. Most of the severe cases are being seen in infants aged less than 2 months, …

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