Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is called ‘kinkhoest’ in Dutch. It is a disease caused by a bacterium.
People can infect each other by coughing. Whooping cough is especially dangerous for young babies. They can become very distressed and exhausted. Almost every year, one or two babies die of whooping cough in the Netherlands.
Babies can only be vaccinated once they are six weeks old. That is why as of 16 December 2019, the 22-week vaccination is offered by the Dutch National Immunisation Programme. A pregnant woman can protect her baby against whooping cough by getting vaccinated herself. This ensures that the baby is protected from the moment they enter the world. The vaccination is given from the 22 second week of pregnancy. That is why it is called the 22-week vaccination.