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Whooping cough pregnancy jabs

Pregnant women are to be vaccinated against whooping cough, health officials have said, after the biggest outbreak of the illness for two decades claimed the lives of 9 babies.

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'No concerns' about whooping cough vaccine

From Monday, women across the UK who are between 28 and 38 weeks pregnant will be offered the vaccination.

The drug which is to be administered, called Repevax, has raised safety fears, coming with the advice: "The use of this combined vaccine is not recommended in pregnancy".

But the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) - the independent panel of vaccine experts which advises the Government - said that it has "no concerns" about the safety of the vaccine, which protects against whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Government's principal medical adviser, said:

I know that pregnant women can feel very vulnerable about protecting themselves and their baby's health and clearly we don't want pregnant women taking medication of any form unless it's necessary. But I can't stress enough that this is an important thing that pregnant women can do to protect their baby.

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