Can protection against whooping cough start in the womb?

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has reminded parents to get their children vaccinated against whooping cough, cases of which are on the rise.

Would the ministry consider recommending the vaccination for women in their third trimester of pregnancy?

Countries such as Australia have made this compulsory, as studies have shown that the vaccination of the mother gives immunity to the infant through the transfer of antibodies via the placenta.

I ask this because it appears that some healthcare professionals are unaware of such a vaccination and whether it might be beneficial to pregnant mothers and their babies.

It would help if MOH could provide some guidance on this matter.

Sarah Rebecca Ang (Madam)