Whooping cough is dangerous for babies. You can protect your baby from whooping cough by getting vaccinated yourself during your pregnancy. This vaccination is called 22-week vaccination. What is whooping cough? Whooping cough is also known as pertussis or the ‘100-day cough’. This extremely contagious disease is caused by a bacterial infection. The infection leads to severe coughing fits, which can persist for months. Infants may struggle to breathe well and could actually stop breathing for a few seconds. Dangerous for babies Whooping cough can be extremely dangerous for babies. They may get pneumonia or develop brain damage, and could even die from the disease. Nearly 170 infants end up in the hospital with whooping cough every year. Newborns are not protected Infants and young children are vaccinated against whooping cough. However, they cannot get their first vaccinations until they are a few months old. That means that newborns and very young infants are not yet protected against whooping cough during the first few months. And that is precisely when they are most vulnerable. How can you protect your baby? You can get vaccinated against whooping cough yourself during your pregnancy. That ensures that your baby will be protected from the moment they enter the world. You can get the shot from the 22-second week of your pregnancy. That is why it is known as the 22-week vaccination (maternal whooping cough vaccination). How does it work? After you are vaccinated, your body makes antibodies. These antibodies are shared with your unborn baby via the placenta. As a result, your baby will have enough antibodies to protect against whooping cough for the first few months, until your baby gets his or her first vaccination. The vaccine protects your baby, but it also protects you. You won’t be able to get whooping cough or infect others. What does it cost? The 22-week vaccination is free of charge and is offered by the National Immunisation Programme. Information is available in English, Turkish and Polish.