Calls for more to get whooping cough vaccine

Doctors in Cumbria are making renewed calls to pregnant women and parents to protect their children from Whooping Cough as the 190th case is confirmed in the county.

There are surges in whooping cough cases every three to four years and the latest outbreak started at the end of 2011.

The Health Protection Service has reported that this is already the worst for more than a decade.

As the country faces a whooping cough epidemic parents and mums to be are being urged to get their children and unborn babies vaccinated.

GPs can give the vaccine as part of the flu vaccine campaign for pregnant women. Both vaccines are free for all pregnant women 28-38 weeks into their pregnancy and can be given at the same time as flu vaccine. Associate Director of Public Health for NHS Cumbria, Nigel Calvert said:

"Babies and infants have limited immunity to infection and whooping cough can make them very ill indeed, so it is essential that children are immunised as soon as they reach the appropriate age for the vaccine. All too often we've seen vaccinations delayed, perhaps because of holiday commitments, and babies remain vulnerable in that period.

"My message to parents is that they should make the vaccination of their children, at the right time, a priority. Whooping cough is an unpleasant illness that can last for weeks and in extreme cases it can result in death. The best way to avoid suffering in the child and anguish in the rest of the family is to stick rigidly to the vaccination schedules."

– Associate Director of Public Health for NHS Cumbria, Nigel Calvert

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Whooping cough warning

Parents are being urged to get their children vaccinated against whooping cough and mums-to-be in Cumbria are being invited to have the vaccine to protect their unborn children as the country faces a whooping cough epidemic.