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Three babies die of whooping cough in Spain within two months

Source: El Pais - Sat 21st Nov 2015
Three babies die of whooping cough in Spain within two months

A two-and-a-half-month-old baby has died in Cuenca from whooping cough. The death occurred in October but was revealed this week by regional authorities in Castilla-La Mancha.

The baby is the third infant to die from the disease in Spain in two months. Another newborn is in intensive care at Toledo's Virgen de la Salud hospital.

The first death occurred in Seville in September, and the second in Málaga in October.

The Málaga case is under investigation following claims that the mother tried to get immunized for whooping cough while she was pregnant but was unable to find the vaccine. Her child was only 15 days old when she died so had not yet been vaccinated against the disease: Spanish infants receive whooping cough shots free of charge at two months, four months, six months and 18 months, while pregnant women wishing to get immunized have to purchase the vaccine themselves.

The Castilla-La Mancha government on November 9 approved administering the vaccine free of charge to pregnant women in the third trimester, said regional health department official Manuel Tordera.

On Tuesday of this week, Spanish Health Minister Alfonso Alonso sought to allay fears of a lack of sufficient whooping cough vaccines, saying that the government had recently purchased 60,000 new doses.

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