10 babies dead from whooping cough, pregnancy women to be vaccinated

(45 Posts)
thing1andthing2 Fri 28-Sep-12 09:41:09

Story here. Nearly 5000 cases of whooping cough this year and 10 little babies have died (I think they were pre-jab age, ie under 12 weeks).
My ds is 13 weeks and has had two sets of jabs so hopefully he'll be ok, but I live in a city with a low rate of vaccination uptake sad so he could be more at risk than others.
I wonder if any pregnant women will accept the whooping cough vaccination or if there'll be a whole "but it hasn't been tested!" thing? As far as I know it's the same vaccine given to babies and children so should be perfectly safe?
Do these outbreaks occur because of low vac uptake or is it just one of those things?

Gigondas Fri 28-Sep-12 09:43:12

Is it part of standard 12 week set or additional ?

Mintyy Fri 28-Sep-12 09:43:14

I heard this on the radio this morning. So sad! Poor poor families sad.

I didn't know there had been a slow down in the uptake of the vaccine ... has there?

Gigondas Fri 28-Sep-12 09:44:55

I don't know if its because of less people immunising or that plus resurgence of wc. Also has there been a drop in other types of childhood immunisation aside from mmr?

This is very sad, I hope those that are at most risk take advantage of it. Its terrible that people still die from something like this, my heart goes out to all those that have lost

TittyWhistles Fri 28-Sep-12 09:45:19

I'm 22weeks pregnant and if its offered, I will have it. I have my appointment for the flu vaccine too. I will take every opportunity there is to keep my unborn child healthy.

AnitaBlake Fri 28-Sep-12 09:46:08

I will be getting the jab. There was a very low take up rate in the babies who are now becoming parents and immunity to WC does wane, better safe than sorry imo.

meditrina Fri 28-Sep-12 09:54:03

I've just seen a piece about this on SKY. Their talking head medical expert said that the success of the immunisation programme is a factor, because that means that it's not been really circulating much in the community, so (immunised) adults are not encountering it, thus "topping up" their immune response, so their immunity levels becomes lower and full infection can occur.

The jab on offer is exactly the same one as that given to infants, and has been in use for years. It's been given to pregnant women for over a year in US (?) and is considered very safe. The idea is that the exposure will trigger the pregnant mother's immune response so more antibodies are circulating in her system and in turn are passed to the baby, increasing e chances that transferred maternal antibodies will protect the newborn in the period before the routine jab is given.

They didn't say if it was recommended for mothers who know they are unimmunised themselves.

The huge collapse in whooping cough immunisation rates was back in the 1970s, so I doubt the currently pregnant will be among that population.

Gigondas Fri 28-Sep-12 09:59:52

Just reading about it- wc is I think part of standard jab package but there is a particular risk to babies before they are immunised. Hence idea of pregnant women being vaccinated to offer protection.

TittyWhistles Fri 28-Sep-12 10:00:16

Meditrina - sad I was born in 71. Currently preg with dc4.

But then I know I had the whooping cough vaccine as a child.

AnitaBlake Fri 28-Sep-12 10:06:34

The drop in immunisation was between 75 and 83 iirc. So that's people between 29 and 37ish. I'm 35 and pregnant......... My sister is also on that age group, and I know of six other pg women all of similar age to me (I was born 1976).

meditrina Fri 28-Sep-12 10:08:48

Apologies - my arithmetic is clearly out this morning! And I hadn't realised rates only improved as late as early 80s.

UsingAPsuedonym Fri 28-Sep-12 10:20:31

I didn't know but I was 79 and not immunised. My baby caught it at 3months and it was truly terrifying. Watching her turn blue and having to check started breathing again day and night for several months. I was so scared she would die. I got it too and each time you feel like you're suffocating. It's horrid.

Used to make me furious at anti.vaxers!

thing1andthing2 Fri 28-Sep-12 10:52:15

WC is in the standard vacs at 2, 3, and 4 months. But obviously little babies immune systems aren't great and it takes a while to build up immunity hence having it three times. And trying to get antibodies from the mother to pass through the placenta at the end of pregnancy.
I know DH had WC at the age of 2 in 1980, his mum tells a story about how they had just bought a house that had previously housed a nursery, and she'd let the nursery carry on using the house for a term, and the nursery manager was being shirty about little DH being in his own new house because of his WC... [off topic].

AnitaBlake Fri 28-Sep-12 10:55:12

Its ok, I'm old, I know I am! I don't think full immunisation rates were achieved until the early 90's. My mum recalls getting us immunised but worrying about what she was doing.

Dinah85 Fri 28-Sep-12 19:35:39

When they've had all 3 are babies fully protected, or is it just less of a chance?

patandjess Fri 28-Sep-12 19:43:05

I am 36 weeks pg and rang my surgery and midwife this morning to be told they didn't know anything about it! I am desperate to gave the jab, especially as I am likely to have the baby early... but no one seems to know when I am going to get it!

Wroxstarr Fri 28-Sep-12 21:04:09

I need to speak to my midwife about this and wont be able to until after the weekend and its on my mind and I'm a little concerned. Does anyone know if I would need the jab?. I had a severe case of whooping cough when I was 12, I'm now 37 and currently 27 weeks pregnant. I didn't get the jab when I was a baby.

losingtrust Wed 03-Oct-12 11:13:09

I was in the unfortunate position of being in hospital with my own DD when a couple came in with their baby who had whooping cough. The baby did not survive the night. It was heartbraking and so I really would go for it if available.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 03-Oct-12 15:05:03

I have a 2 week old DS and I am more than a bit scared about this. I asked my HV if I could get the vaccine, DS is EBF and if there is a chance I can pass the antibodies along in my breast milk then I want to take it. She didn't know if I could do that but advised I phone the practice nurse at my GPs and be assertive about wanting the vaccine and if that fails, go to my GP.

Tiago Wed 03-Oct-12 15:08:19

Wroxstar - you should probably have it to boost any immunity you still have. I'm getting the jab tomorrow, thank god, as I have zero immunity having missd out in the vaccine as a baby due to allergies.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justbreathe Thu 04-Oct-12 12:12:59

My dd caught it at 5 weeks , spent a week in hospital in isolation but was actually fine with it, I was breast feeding which probably helped her.
That's not to say its not a horrible illness for some. I understand the worry and anguish parents feel when their child is coughing constantly and can't breath.

I'm just saying that vaccines also have side effects and health implications. My 2 ds weren't vaccinated and passed it on to dd, so we suffered first hand the results of my choice to not vaccinate. None of them had really bad coughing episodes, though the coughs lasted 3 months, It was not a terrible illness , more an annoying cough.

DD has no side affects /weakness from having caught it at such a young age and maybe her immune system is stronger as a result. If I could start all over again I still wouldn't choose to vaccinate unless I had a child that already had health problems.

losingtrust Thu 04-Oct-12 12:41:43

Justbreathe You were very lucky. I would suggest that parents should look into the side effects but there is a risk that non-breast fed babies could be infected and there is a chance of death from whooping cough. As mentioned I have seen it firsthand and therefore I would be wary about giving more parents the impression that it is just an annoying cough.

justbreathe Thu 04-Oct-12 15:02:48

I did not mean to be insensitive to those who have lost a child to whooping cough or to those whose dc have been terribly ill with it.

I am not at all suggesting people don't vaccinate. I understand that we vaccinate the strong in order to protect the weak. I am just saying my experience of whooping cough was not that terrible, maybe I was just lucky to have a strong baby.
I think sometimes new mums are scaremongered into giving a whole heap of vaccinations which may have side effects because they are always told of the worse case senarios, probably because the health professionals see first hand the tragic cases. I just wanted to inform worried parents that if your child does get whooping cough it doesn't necessarily mean they will die.

Every time we take antibiotics we compromise our immune system. It has been proved that these effects are then passed down to our babies who in turn have less strong immune systems. That means every generation is becoming less and less able to fight infection. Every childhood illness we successfully recover from like chicken pox for example will make our immune systems stronger.

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