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Pregnant women can benefit from a new program aimed at preventing whooping cough.
The Department of Health and Community Services started the program on Jan. 1, in compliance with a recommendation by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, for all pregnant woman in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Immunizations are a safe and important part of a healthy pregnancy. Whooping cough is a serious disease that can be deadly for babies, and their mothers are the only ones who can give them protection before they are born,” Minister of Health and Community Services John Haggie said in a news release Tuesday.
“Babies don’t get vaccinated for whooping cough until they are two months old, so avoiding this gap in protection by having their mothers vaccinated is so important,” he added.
Whooping cough is a transmissible respiratory, bacterial infection that can be deadly for babies. Since babies are not administered the whooping cough vaccine until they are two months old, pregnant women are encouraged to avoid the gap in protection by getting the vaccine.
This will allow the antibodies to be passed on to babies before birth.
Pregnant women who require more information on the vaccine are urged to check with their doctor or a local public health office.