16 Sep 2012

Free whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women

3:27 pm on 16 September 2012

Waikato District Health Board is offering free whooping cough vaccines for pregnant women.

The vaccines were introduced after several infants in the Waikato contracted whooping cough from family members.

The vaccination is available to women from the 20th week of pregnancy to two weeks after a baby's birth.

Waikato DHB screening services manager Clare Coles says the DHB has taken it upon itself to fund the vaccine and offer the best protection possible.

Mrs Coles says the vaccine can help protect babies for at least their first six weeks through antibodies in the placenta and breast milk.