Swan Hill Rural City Council is encouraging pregnant women and their partners to protect their babies through a free whooping cough vaccine program that started on 1 June.
Through a Department of Health and Human Services program, Council will provide free whooping cough (pertussis) vaccines to pregnant women in their third trimester, as well as eligible partners.
Council’s Public Health and Regulatory Services Coordinator Melanie Bennett said newborn babies had the best protection against whooping cough if the mother was vaccinated during pregnancy.
“This immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way to protect your baby against whooping cough, and also helps to protect you and others in the community from this disease,” she said.
“Ideally women should receive the vaccine in the 28-32 week period of their pregnancy, but after 28 weeks the vaccine can be given at any time up until delivery.
“The vaccine should also be given to women during the third trimester of each pregnancy, even if you have had the vaccination during a previous pregnancy.”
The program will be at no cost to those who are eligible, including:
- Pregnant women who are at least 28 weeks into their pregnancy
- Partners of women who are at least 28 weeks pregnant, if the partner has not received a pertussis booster in the last 10 years
- The parents/guardians of babies born on or after 1 June, if their baby is under six months of age and they have not received a pertussis booster in the last 10 years.
You must also normally live in Victoria, hold a Medicare card or be a permanent resident.
The free vaccine will be available at Council’s regular Swan Hill immunisation sessions. You must book in prior to the sessions to receive a consent form – visit the Council office in Splatt Street, or contact Council’s Public Health Services on 5036 2591.
Upcoming immunisation sessions will be held on June 15 and July 13 from 10am-11am, and on June 29 and July 27 from 6pm-7pm. All sessions are at the Swan Hill Town Hall.