A letter to expectant parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and friends.

Whooping cough can be life threatening for newborns and some adults.4

Whooping cough is always around, however at the moment there is a lot more than usual which is why the Ministry of Health have declared a national outbreak.3,5

Whooping cough is highly contagious – one person can infect up to 17 others, and sadly over 70% of infant cases are passed on by parents or a close family member.6-8

Newborn babies are the most at risk because they’re too young to be vaccinated themselves. Adults can also be at risk if they haven't had a booster vaccination in the last 10 years. By having a booster vaccination adults are not only helping to protect themselves from whooping cough but also they’re helping to protect any newborns they’re in close contact with.1,2,4

You should get a booster vaccination if...

...you’re pregnant, vaccination is free. Talk to your healthcare professional about getting a booster vaccination between weeks-28-38.2

...you're in close contact with a newborn in your family or at work, it’s recommended that you have a booster vaccination to help protect both you and the newborn.2

...you have cardiac or respiratory health problems such as asthma, COPD (e.g. chronic bronchitis, emphysema) a congenital heart disease or an immune deficiency, a booster vaccination is recommended as whooping cough could cause severe illness or complications with your existing condition.2

It is recommended that adults have a booster vaccination every 10 years, as a proactive approach to staying well as you get older. This is especially important during the current ongoing whooping cough outbreak. Whooping cough vaccination is quick, simple and available at your GP practice and selected pharmacies, hospital departments and some lead maternity carers.9,10

For those most at-risk, their protection really does start with you.1,2

Our babies are most at risk