Whooping cough cases continue to rise

New data published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows cases of whooping cough continue to increase with 1,319 cases confirmed in March. This follows 556 cases in January and 918 in February, bringing the total number of cases in 2024 to 2,793.

Sadly, in the first quarter of 2024 (January – March), there have been five infant deaths. Young infants are at highest risk of severe complications and death from whooping cough. Updated estimates of vaccine effectiveness in pregnancy shows high levels of protection (92%) against infant death.

Uptake of vaccinations that protect against whooping cough have fallen in recent years across the country – in both the programme for pregnant women and the infant programme. Timely vaccination in pregnancy and in infancy are both important to protect vulnerable young babies from serious disease.

Whooping cough vaccine

The whooping cough vaccine protects babies and children from getting whooping cough. That’s why it’s important to have all the routine NHS vaccinations.

The whooping cough vaccine is routinely given as part of the:

If you’re pregnant you should also have the whooping cough vaccine – ideally between 16 and 32 weeks.

Find out more about the whooping cough vaccination in pregnancy

Further information

The full GOV.UK press release is available here: Whooping cough cases continue to rise – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Find out more about Whooping Cough and Vaccination on the NHS.uk website: Whooping cough – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Date published: 13th May, 2024
Date last updated: 13th May, 2024