Free vaccines for whooping cough

HEALTH authorities have reminded people to take advantage of free whooping cough vaccines for parents and grandparents of newborn babies.

Condamine Medical Centre’s Ross Hetherington said it was a State Government initiative.

“The hospital has been good at telling new parents about the vaccination,” Dr Hetherington said.

“There have been more cases cropping up.

“A baby won’t get the full immunisation to whooping cough until they are about 18 months old, so it’s the little babies at risk.”

Dr Hetherington said there were two main reasons more cases had cropped up over the past couple of years.

“The older generation, it seems our natural immunity has faded, and because there are people who say how terrible vaccines are there is a lesser herd immunity,” he said.

Public Health physician Penny Hutchinson said there was no significant increase in cases of whooping cough in Warwick this year.

“Babies with whooping cough are at risk of developing severe health problems such as pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, permanent disability or even death,” Dr Hutchinson said.

For more information about whooping cough and vaccinations, contact your doctor or call 13 HEALTH (1343 2584).

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