Fewer than half of pregnant women are choosing to get the whooping cough vaccine, despite the HSE recommending it for them between 16 and 36 weeks of pregnancy. Five infants have died from pertussis, or whooping cough, in Ireland since 2012. Four were less than three months of age.

According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), there have been 58 cases of pertussis so far in 2018. The most recent weekly figure shows that five cases were notified in the week July 14-21, with three of these in infants aged under four years of age.

A survey by the HPSC this year found that 49% of the 241 women interviewed reported having the pertussis vaccine during their pregnancy. The most recent data from 2017…