NHS Western Isles has launched a poster campaign to raise awareness of the importance of mums-to-be getting vaccinated against whooping cough (pertussis) to ensure their babies are protected during the vulnerable first two months of life.
The ‘Strong Baby’ poster – which is now on display in GP surgeries, hospitals, dental surgeries, pharmacies and other locations – features a contented baby flexing his muscles and saying: “Help keep me strong and healthy… get me vaccinated!”
It makes a direct appeal to all pregnant women to give their unborn babies “a fighting chance against whooping cough by having a vaccination between their 28th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy.
Whooping cough in the very young can be very serious and in babies who have no natural protection against the disease, it can lead to pneumonia and permanent brain damage. Babies have already died in the UK from this infection.
Dr Maggie Watts, NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, said: “Whooping cough in babies can be a nasty disease. Anyone who has seen the suffering and heard the coughing of a child with pertussis will want to avoid it happening to another child. Very young babies are particularly vulnerable if they don’t have immunity from their mother.”