Questions over pertussis safety for newborns

The debate over the benefit of cocooning newborns by vaccinating close contacts against pertussis has been raised on the back of Australian research that shows many newborns are exposed to the bacteria when they go home.

While two-thirds of mothers have antenatal pertussis vaccination, a worrying 22% of newborns are being discharged to a home where none of the parents or contacts have been vaccinated, report Monash University researchers.

Onsite provision of free pertussis vaccine in public hospitals is key to high uptake rates for mothers, but this model is less effective