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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Department of Health will launch the Pertussis Vaccination Programme for pregnant women in Hong Kong at Maternal & Child Health Centres as part of their routine antenatal care from July 2.

Announcing the programme today, the department said to provide direct protection for infants against pertussis, the health centres will provide pertussis vaccinations for women between 26 and 34 weeks of pregnancy.

In the first two months of the programme, pregnant women who have reached 35 weeks or above and have not received the pertussis vaccine can also participate.

Vaccination appointments will be provided to the women when they attend antenatal check-ups at the health centres.

Hospital Authority antenatal clinics will also launch the programme for pregnant women.

In view of a surge in notifiable pertussis cases locally in recent years, the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases under the Centre for Health Protection recommended last year that pregnant women receive one dose of acellular pertussis-containing vaccine during each pregnancy, regardless of previous vaccinations and any natural infection history against the disease.

Through the vaccination, pregnant women will develop and pass the antibodies to the foetus before delivery, providing direct protection for infants against pertussis.

The department also stressed that the antibodies passed on to the baby will wane gradually as it grows. The baby is still required to be vaccinated according to the Childhood Immunisation Programme when it reaches the age of two months.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News