New research [b]Baylor College of Medicine, Houston[/b], suggests that vaccinating pregnant women during their third trimester to prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis in their future offspring appears to be safe for both mother and child, reports [s]Medicinenet[/s]. The new preliminary study explored the safety of the ‘Tdap’ vaccine when offered before birth. The investigation was prompted by the particular threat to infants posed by pertussis – commonly known as whooping cough – a highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease. Although the disease is preventable if vaccinated against, current recommendations advise that the ‘DTaP vaccine – a different form of the vaccine used to prevent the same conditions – be offered only to infants at the ages of 2 months, 4 months and 6 months. This leaves open a potential window of risk between the time of birth and the first dose of DTaP, in which the newborn infant is not protected.