(CNN) — Pertussis, or whooping cough, is on the rise in the U.S. Federal officials say more than 32,000 cases and 16 deaths have already been recorded this year, most of those in infants. That’s why pediatricians recommend parents and their babies get vaccinated for pertussis right after the child is born.
But now the Advisory Committee for Immunization is recommending all pregnant women be immunized for whooping cough as well.
The committee, which is an advisory arm for the Centers for Disease Control, voted to recommend that doctors begin immunizing pregnant women with the tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis vaccine which provides protection against all three conditions.
The committee says the inoculation should be administered during each pregnancy in the late second or third trimester, regardless of whether the patient has been immunized for pertussis in the past.
Although there has been controversy and concern in the past over the number of vaccines given to children, the ACIP said the vaccine is very safe in all trimesters for both the mother and the fetus and could be given any time during pregnancy.