Panel to pregnant moms: Get whooping cough shots

AP News
Posted: Jun 22, 2011 4:48 PM
Panel to pregnant moms: Get whooping cough shots

A federal advisory panel is recommending that pregnant women get vaccinated against whooping cough.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday voted to recommend the shot for pregnant women who previously were not vaccinated. The vaccine, which does not use live bacteria, would be given in the third trimester or late second trimester.

Children get whooping cough vaccine in a series of shots beginning at 2 months. Most infant deaths and hospitalizations now occur in the first two months of life. Some research has found that vaccinating a pregnant woman will allow her to pass some immunity to her child.

Outbreaks of whooping cough last year in California and other states led to more than 21,000 cases nationwide, at least 4,000 more than in 2009.