Richmond Practice - Why should I get the Whooping Cough Vaccine in Pregnancy?

Why should I get the Whooping Cough Vaccine in Pregnancy?

By Dr Elisabeth Peregrine, consultant obstetrician at Elsbeth's Doctors

Whooping cough (pertussis) is common and there has been a rise in newborn babies becoming very unwell with it and a rise in deaths in very young babies. The good news is that you can protect your baby if you have the vaccine between 16 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, so that this immunity will pass across the placenta to the baby, until they are old enough to be routinely vaccinated at two months old.

When should I have it?
We recommend having it between 16 and 32 weeks of pregnancy to maximise the chances of protecting your baby. However your baby will still receive less protection if you have it later in pregnancy mainly by reducing the chance of you getting it and passing it to your newborn baby.

Is it safe?
The vaccine has been used in pregnancy across the world since 2012 and there is no evidence that the vaccine is unsafe for you or your baby. You may have some mild side effects such as tenderness at the injection site.

Who should have it?
We recommend it for all pregnant women, even if you have had the vaccine as a child or in a previous pregnancy to maximize the protection for your baby.

Elsbeth's Doctors provides private pregnancy care and baby scan services by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists and offer continuity of care and our patients are assisted in a comfortable and caring environment. To book an appointment call 030 0303 5009 or visit

Dr Elisabeth Peregrine was trained in London in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and worked at two large teaching Hospitals. She is a subspecialist in fetal and maternal medicine and a Consultant in Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine at Kingston Hospital.


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