Rotherham's mums-to-be urged to get whooping cough jab

LESS than half of the expectant Rotherham mums entitled to a whooping cough vaccine are getting the jab, according to a new report.

Doctors have urged those yet to take the chance to be immunised and protect their unborn children against the condition.

A new Department for Health report revealed that just 46.9 per cent of pregnant women in Rotherham due give birth imminently were given the free shot during October.

This figure is higher than a national average of around 40 per cent, but health officials urged those yet to be vaccinated to get in touch as soon as possible.

Prof David Salisbury, Department of Health director of immunisation, said: “I’m pleased that nearly half of pregnant women have taken up the offer of the whooping cough vaccine.

“But I’d urge all pregnant women between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy to get the vaccine to protect their babies.

“Whooping cough is highly infectious and infants are particularly vulnerable.

“Thirteen infants have died as a result of whooping cough this year and there have been nearly 400 cases of the disease in children under three months old.

“It’s vital that babies are protected from the day they are born — that’s why we are encouraging all pregnant women to be vaccinated.”

Of the 309 Rotherham women due to give birth witin the month after, 145 were vaccinated in October.

The UK average was 43.6 per cent and the regional uptake 40.3 per cent.