There is a new recommendation coming into effect in NSW in July this year. The recommendation is that women who are currently in the last 3 months of pregnancy be vaccinated against Whooping Cough (WC) during pregnancy, unless a booster has been given within the last 5 years.
A few facts about Whooping Cough
As you may be aware, WC is potentially a very serious illness in newborns, it can even be life threatening. WC epidemics have occurred in NSW in recent years, so it is not an uncommon infection. Recent evidence demonstrates that in a high proportion of newborn infections, the source of infection was the mother. WC vaccination is known to be safe in pregnancy. It is still important to vaccinate other adults who are going to have significant amounts of close contact with your newborn (have this done prior to the birth).
In light of the new recommendation, from 15th July 2013, women in the last 3 months of pregnancy who have not had a WC booster in the last 5 years will be eligible for a free WC booster.
If you are not currently pregnant but are planning pregnancy in the near future, try and have your WC booster prior to becoming pregnant.
As with all of these types of issues, these are general recommendations and you should discuss your individual circumstances with either your obstetric care provider or your GP.