Plunket is encouraging mums, pregnant women and those trying to get pregnant to check they are immunised from whooping cough, to protect themselves and their children.
The Ministry of Heath today declared a national outbreak of whooping cough, as a total of 1,315 cases have been reported since the beginning of 2017.
“Immunisation is a free, proven way that parents can protect their children against serious diseases, including whooping cough. You can be immunised when you’re pregnant and this protects your baby until they are fully immunised,” said Plunket National Clinical Advisor Karen Magrath.
“If you’re unsure if you or your children have been immunised against whooping cough, check in with your family doctor. It is never too late to catch up, even if a child has fallen behind on the immunisation schedule.”
Plunket says whooping cough can have serious complications and are often spread by family members or friends.
“We encourage family members to protect babies from anyone with a cough. The community has a role to play in looking after young children during this outbreak. Make sure you’re completely well if visiting a baby,” said Plunket’s Karen Magrath.
If parents are not sure when their child is due for immunisation they can check the immunisation schedule at www.plunket.org.nz or call their doctor.
The Immunisation Advisory Centre also offers information and advice about immunisation and preventing the spread of infection through its toll-free line 0800 IMMUNE (0800 466 863) and website www.immune.org.nz
Parents who have any questions or concerns can also contact PlunketLine 0800 933 922 (24 hours 7 days) or talk to their Plunket nurse.
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