HEALTH professionals from NHS England are urging pregnant women in Gloucestershire to get vaccinated against whooping cough.

The vaccination will protect their newborn baby during its first months from whooping cough, by passing on immunity from mother to child.

Young babies are particularly at risk and cannot be vaccinated themselves until two months of age.

On average, six out of ten pregnant women living across Gloucestershire are already vaccinated but NHS England is keen to encourage the other 40 per cent of expectant mothers to protect their babies from the condition.

Whooping cough is a serious disease which can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and even death.

The best time to get vaccinated to protect your newborn baby is from week 28 to week 32, but vaccination is possible up to 38 weeks of pregnancy.

Dr Peter Brambleby, interim director of Public Health for Gloucestershire said vaccination was safe, simple and effective.

“It not only protects your child from contracting the diseases but they are also less likely to pass the infections on to friends and family,” he said.

“Even if you or your child have missed an immunisation at the recommended ages, talk to your doctor, GP, practice nurse or health visitor to arrange for your child to be immunised.”