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FDA approves whooping cough vaccine for pregnant mothers

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the use of a whooping cough vaccine in pregnant mothers. Photo by Flickr
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the use of a whooping cough vaccine in pregnant mothers. Photo by Flickr

Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A new vaccine to prevent whooping cough in newborn infants was approved the Food and Drug Administration on Friday.

Boostrix, is made by GlaxoSmithKline, and is to be used during the third trimester of pregnancy. Dr. Peter Marks, the chief vaccine official of the FDA ,said that it was the first vaccine approved by the agency that prevents disease in infants by giving their mothers a shot during pregnancy.

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"Pertussis disease is a highly contagious respiratory illness affecting all age groups," Marks said in a statement. "However, babies are at highest risk for getting pertussis and having serious complications from it,"

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.2% of the total cases of pertussis reported in the United States in 2021 were in infants younger than 6 months of age and approximately 31% required hospitalization.

The single-shot vaccine was 78% effective in preventing whooping cough in newborn infants, according to the FDA.

Boostrix had been approved by the FDA in 2005 for individuals 10 through 18 years old.

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