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Infant whooping cough less severe if mom gets Tdap shot during pregnancy
Southern California Public Radio

Vaccinating pregnant women against pertussis (whooping cough) )provides greater protection to the small percentage of their infants who contract the disease, according to a study released Friday by the California Department of Public Health.

In recent years, public health experts have been recommending that pregnant women get vaccinated against pertussis in the third trimester as a way to protect their infants from getting the disease when they are too young to be fully vaccinated.

A small percentage of babies will still contract pertussis, which can lead to hospitalization and in rare cases death, the Department said. But its study of 382 infants with pertussis found those whose mothers were vaccinated in the third trimester of pregnancy were much less likely to be hospitalized. Of those who were hospitalized, a far smaller percentage ended up in intensive care, none needed intubation, had seizures or died.