Whooping Cough

Infants:

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a bacterial infection that is currently circulating in the community. It can cause very severe respiratory illness in babies who contract it under one year of age, and particularly under 6 months of age. The vaccine for pertussis forms part of the 6-in-1 immunisation at 2, 4, and 6 months.

All children should be brought promptly for their baby vaccinations when they fall due. We would encourage parents to bring their babies for their 1st vaccinations as soon as they turn 2 months old.

 

Pregnant Women:

The HSE recommend that all pregnant women receive a booster dose of pertussis vaccine (Boostrix) between 16-36 weeks gestation, to reduce their risk of contracting whooping cough (and passing it onto their babies). Even if you had whooping cough as a child, your immunity wanes over time, and this is the best way to protect your baby. The vaccine needs to be repeated in every pregnancy. The Boostrix vaccine is safe to use in pregnancy; in addition to pertussis, it contains a booster dose of diphtheria and tetanus. As the vaccine is not fully covered by the HSE, there is an administration fee of €25. If you are pregnant and wish to receive the vaccine, please contact the surgery.

Further information about vaccines in pregnancy (and generally) can be found at www.immunisation.ie.

 

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