Pregnant women should be vaccinated against whooping cough in the last three months of their pregnancy to protect their babies, the Dutch health council has told health minister Edith Schippers.
It is the first time that routine inoculations have been recommended for pregnant women in the Netherlands, the Volkskrant says.
Currently new borns have no resistance to whooping cough, which can prove deadly in the first months of life. ‘The most vulnerable group is not being protected,’ health council chairman Pim van Gool told the paper.
Despite the recommendation, it is difficult to predict how women will react to the vaccination, the council says. It also contravenes current advice to avoid all medicines as much as possible when pregnant.
An average of 128 children younger than five months develop whooping cough in the Netherlands every year. Around 100 end up in hospital. Between 2005 and 2014, five have died, the Volkskrant says.
In the US women have been recommended to have the vaccination since 2012 and there has been no increase in complications during pregnancy, the paper says.
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