New mothers will receive whooping cough vaccinations subsidised by the State Government to stem the trend of annual outbreaks.
New mothers will receive whooping cough vaccinations subsidised by the State Government to stem the trend of annual outbreaks.

Breaking the cough cycle

NEW mothers will receive whooping cough vaccinations, as NSW Health combats alarmingly high infection rates on the North Coast.

An outbreak of whooping cough, struck the region earlier this year, with 60 cases reported on the Mid North Coast already this year.

North Coast Area Helath Service Public Health Unit spokesman Paul Corben said while the infection rate was below the five year whooping cough average, new parents should not be complacent about vaccination.  

"Sixty cases is still 60 cases too many. There is a lot of whooping cough around and there continues to be many more cases than we would like to see," Mr Corben said.

The Mid North Coast rates below the national average for vaccinations, with 87.4% of five-years-olds vaccinated, compared to national average of 89.7%.

To combat the rise from July 1 new mothers, not vaccinated in maternity wards can obtain free whopping cough vaccinations two weeks after giving birth from their local GP.  

NSW Health Director of Health Protection Dr Jeremy McAnulty said vaccinating new mothers is effective in protecting newborns.

"A lot of parents don't get vaccinated until a few weeks after birth which is too late to protect the most vulnerable very young babies," Dr McAnulty said.



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