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Vaccinating pregnant mums protect newborns from whooping cough

Babies whose mothers received the Tdap booster vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough were 91 percent less likely to get whooping cough during the first two months of life.

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Newborns of mothers who are vaccinated against the highly contagious and potentially life-threatening whooping cough are much less likely to get it than others, researchers said, in a large study published Monday.

Whooping cough, which is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium is easily spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. About half of the babies who contract the illness require hospitalization for complications, such as pneumonia or brain disease, Reuters reported.

HPV VACCINATION DURING PREGNANCY HAS NO ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES

In this study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers analyzed the data of about 149,000 infants born in California from 2010 to 2015. They found that babies whose mothers received the Tdap booster vaccine for tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough were 91 percent less likely to get whooping cough during the first two months of life, and had a 69 percent lower risk of contracting the disease in their first year of life.

“It is very important for pregnant women to get vaccinated,” lead author Dr. Nicola Klein of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Center, Oakland, California, told Reuters. “It is a very effective vaccine to protect babies before they are able to get vaccinated on their own.”

ADULTS URGED TO GET VACCINATED

Health officials in many countries recommend vaccination during pregnancy, as well as a series of three pictures for babies from anywhere between 6 weeks and three months old, Reuters reported. Some countries recommend that women get vaccinated during each pregnancy, because the effectiveness of the absorption decreases in time. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all pregnant women get the Tdap shot, regardless of their vaccination history.

All of the babies analysed in the study were born at Kaiser Permanente, which calls for pregnant women to search for the Tdap vaccine. The authors noted that the study is not intended to prove that the vaccination of pregnant mothers protects infants from whooping cough, or to determine the optimal point in the pregnancy to be vaccinated mothers.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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