East Lancashire mums-to-be urged to have whooping cough vaccine

ALMOST 60% of pregnant women in Burnley and across East Lancashire had the whooping cough vaccine in December.

According to latest figures 57.1% of pregnant women had the jab, compared to 55% nationally and 66.2% in the North-West but health bosses are urging more mums-to-be to get immunised.

The vaccine can protect newborn babies against the potentially deadly virus.

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Prof. David Salisbury, director of immunisation for the Department of Health, said: “I’m pleased that nationally more than half of pregnant women took up the offer of the whooping cough vaccine in December. But I’d urge more women in the North-West to get it to protect their baby.

“Whooping cough is highly contagious and infants are particularly vulnerable. In England 14 infants died as a result of whooping cough 2012 and there were 429 cases of the disease in children under three months old. It’s vital that babies are protected from the day they are born – that’s why we are encouraging all pregnant women to be vaccinated.”