This vaccination programme helps protect infants from whooping cough by boosting pertussis immunity in pregnant women.
The vaccination programme is recommended for pregnant women from 16 weeks to 32 weeks of pregnancy, although the vaccine can be offered up to 38 weeks. It is usually offered after the fetal anomaly scan. Vaccinating pregnant women between 16 to 32 weeks of pregnancy will ensure that high levels of antibodies against pertussis cross the placenta from the mother to passively protect the baby when it is born.
Further programme information:
- whooping cough vaccination programme for pregnant women: extension to 2014 letter (it explains the continuation of the temporary programme for whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination for pregnant women).
- resources to support whooping cough vaccination
- pertussis immunisation in pregnancy: vaccine coverage estimates for England