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The Whooping Cough Vaccine and Cocooning to Improve Baby Immunisation

whopping cough vaccination question immunisation cocooning mums lounge

How to Protect Your Newborn from Whooping Cough using the Whooping Cough Vaccine. 

Only last week I noticed a post over on our sister site’s  “Go Ask Mum” Facebook page, that grabbed my attention.  It has made its way into my thoughts several times during the week, and when I revisited the post this morning, I was surprised that it has to date received 360 responses.

For those of you who may have missed it, this is the dilemma I am referring to;

whopping cough vaccination question immunisation cocooning mums lounge

What are your initial thoughts about this? Does she have every right to expect visitors to be vaccinated, or at the very least wait until her child is, or is she over-reacting?

Let’s take a look at the facts regarding whooping cough.


What is Whooping Cough?

Whooping cough (or pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacteria ‘bodello pertussis.’  Although the infection is often mild in adults, if passed on to vulnerable babies it can be life-threatening. In fact 1 in every 200 babies that contract the infection will die.

Whooping cough begins with symptoms similar to a cold, which can quickly progress to include:

  • Severe coughing, which may or may not be accompanied by a characteristic whooping sound on inhalation
  • Vomiting after a bout of coughing
  • Apnoea. Children can stop breathing for periods of time and may turn blue.
  • Haemorrhage
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the brain
  • Convulsion (fits) or coma
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Death

Babies (particularly those under the age of 6 months) can also develop a number of complications arising from the infection including:

  • Haemorrhage
  • Pneumonia
  • Inflammation of the brain
  • Convulsion (fits) or coma
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Death

Vaccination, the Whooping Cough Vaccine and Protecting Your Child During Their First Six Months 

The whooping cough vaccine is our best defence against whooping cough, as there is currently no cure.

Baby immunisation is important.  Babies are not born with adequate antibodies to the disease, and even those who are vaccinated are not protected from the infection until they are at least 4 months old and have received at least two doses of the whopping cough vaccine.

During this period parents can create a circle of protection around their baby by having the whooping cough vaccine themselves and also asking grandparents and other people coming into contact with their baby to do the same.

What many of us don’t know is that even those of us who may have been vaccinated against whooping cough in the past, still need boosters, as the immunity can wear off as quickly as 6 years after the vaccine. So childhood vaccination needs to be done later to make it effective.

Whilst adults may experience mild symptoms of whopping cough, they are the major source of this disease, and can pass it very easily to more vulnerable members of the community.

To create the ‘cocooning’ effect around your baby everyone in contact with him or her – be they children adolescents, adults – should be up to date on their whooping cough vaccine boosters.

For more information about immunisation visit or speak to your local GP

whooping cough vaccine and protecting newborns using vaccination

Have Your Say

What advice would you give our expectant mum? 

How would you broach this sensitive topic with your family and friends? Are you up to date with your whooping cough vaccine?

For more information on immunisation visit
 or speak to your local GP

Download the ‘Save the Date to Vaccinate’ app at the website too

 immunisation schedule




Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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