Whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women under review

Madam Sarah Rebecca Ang asked if the Ministry of Health (MOH) would consider recommending that women get vaccinated against whooping cough in their third trimester of pregnancy ("Can protection against whooping cough start in the womb?"; Forum Online, Aug 3).

Pertussis is a contagious acute bacterial infection of the respiratory tract caused by Bordetella pertussis.

In Singapore, vaccination against pertussis is recommended under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule as the standard of care for young children.

MOH, in consultation with the Expert Committee on Immunisation and the Academy of Medicine, College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, is reviewing if the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine should be recommended for all pregnant women.

While the review is in progress, we advise pregnant women to consult their obstetricians on the recommended vaccinations and immunisation schedule during pregnancy, including the Tdap vaccine.

Lim Bee Khim (Ms)

Director

Corporate Communications

Ministry of Health