South Canterbury District Health Board is offering free whooping cough booster vaccines to parents and caregivers of babies less than six months old.
Babies this age are the most vulnerable to whooping cough in the less than one year age group because they are either to young to have completed the course of three immunisations needed for whooping cough protection or have only just completed them.
In 70% of whooping cough cases in the less than six months age group parents and caregivers have been the source of infection, even if they were immunised or had the disease when they were younger because immunity against the disease decreases over time.
Having a booster immunisation reduces the risk that the adult will get whooping cough and pass it on to the baby.
It is important that babies six months of age and older and young children, particularly siblings of young babies, are up to date with their immunisations.
Parents are encouraged to talk to their practice nurse, GP or midwife for more information.