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Majority take up whooping cough vaccine in Sussex
7:50am Tuesday 5th February 2013 in News
More than three quarters of pregnant women in Sussex are taking up the offer of a whooping cough vaccine.
Latest figures show that despite variations across the county, the majority of mums-to-be had the jab in December.
Around 75% of the 120 pregnant women in Brighton and Hove had the vaccine, higher than the national rate of 55%.
In East Sussex Downs and Weald, 77% of 92 women accepted the offer and 43 out of 45 women were protected in Hastings and Rother, giving a rate of 96%.
The lowest rate was in West Sussex, where 68% of the 494 women offered the jab accepted it.
The government launched a national drive to boost vaccine rates following an outbreak of whooping cough cases across the country last year.
There were almost 480 cases in Sussex alone last year, 15 times the number for the year before.
Department of Health director of immunisation David Salisbury said: “Whooping cough is highly contagious and infants are particularly vulnerable.
“In England 14 infants died as a result of whooping cough 2012 and there were 429 cases of the disease in children under three months old.
“It's vital that babies are protected from the day they are born - that's why we are encouraging all pregnant women to be vaccinated."
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