The Andrews Labor Government will reintroduce free whooping cough vaccines for expectant parents and parents of newborns.

Parents will be eligible for the free vaccine as soon as the expectant mother enters the third
trimester and until the baby is six months.

Ms Graley said that the axing of this program by the former Liberal Government had seen cases of whooping cough skyrocket.

In the past twelve months, there has been a 57.7 per cent increase in notifications of cases, from 2,926 in 2013 to 4,615 in 2014. In particular, there has been an increase in cases among children less than one year old – 115 notifications of cases in 2014, compared to 74 in 2013.

“Whooping cough is highly contagious and if parents aren’t immunised they could pass it on to their newborn baby,”

“It can be a deadly disease, especially for newborns but it is a disease we can and will prevent,”

“Under our plan, an additional 80,000 Victorians will be vaccinated against whooping cough, protecting our most vulnerable from this life threatening disease.”