Public Health England is encouraging pregnant women to receive the whooping cough vaccine in order to better protect their babies. Vaccination reduces the risk of a newborn developing whooping cough by 91 percent, but despite the encouraging figures, only about half of the nation’s pregnant women were vaccinated last year. Seven babies died from whooping cough in the same time period. “Being vaccinated against whooping cough while you’re pregnant is a highly effective way to protect your baby in the first few weeks of their life,” Dr. Mary Ramsay of Public Health England said. Whooping cough is caused by bacteria and primarily affects infants, though adults can also be infected.
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