In recent years whooping cough has become increasingly common. Whooping cough is an infectious lung disease that is particularly dangerous in babies who have not, or not fully, been vaccinated against it. Babies can only be vaccinated once they are six weeks old. The Health Council of the Netherlands therefore recommends that pregnant women should be offered a whooping cough vaccination in the third trimester, i.e. between 28 and 32 weeks.
The antibodies the mother produces will pass through the umbilical cord to the unborn baby. This gives the baby antibodies to combat whooping cough right from birth and will protect it against the disease in the first months of life. The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, is currently investigating how to arrange this vaccination for pregnant women. Until the scheme is implemented nationally, pregnant women can choose to be vaccinated against whooping cough, but they will have to pay for it themselves.
You can be vaccinated by your family doctor or you can go to the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD). If you wish to be vaccinated at the GGD, you can make an appointment online with the Travellers’ advice and vaccination office. There is space on the form to indicate that the vaccination is not for a trip abroad by checking the option “other” (“Overige”). You can make your appointment online (in Dutch).