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Pregnant Women Skip Whooping-Cough Shot

Many pregnant women are not getting recommended shots to protect themselves and their babies against whooping cough, a new study shows. The study comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It includes data from New York City and 16 states for the last 4 months of 2011. In all, nearly 56% of pregnant women got the Tdap vaccine. This vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis bacteria. Pertussis causes whooping cough. About 14% of the women got the shot before pregnancy. Another 10% got it during pregnancy and 31% after the birth. U.S. health officials urge all pregnant women to get the Tdap booster shot. Getting it just before or during pregnancy can pass some immunity to the infant. Vaccination after the birth for the mother and other contacts also helps to protect the baby.

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