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.

lovetolerance Sun 07-Oct-12 02:10:56

It's such a tough choice. I'm terrified by the thought of our baby getting whooping cough, but then I'm also terrified at the thought of how the vaccine could affect a baby that is not fully developed. It has never been trialed on pregnant women - just because there are no known risks, doesn't mean there are no risks. Also, the vaccine they are using is not the one given to 2 month old babies, but the one that is given as a booster, which is not supposed to be given to under 3s. Does anyone know why that is? I'm so terrified of this choice. I haven't taken as much as a paracetamol throughout my pregnancy and have already decided against the flu jab. But this is different. I just want to make an informed decision. In Scotland less than 0.02% of babies have had it this year, so that has to be weighed up against the unknown risks of the vaccine. Somehow you have to make a choice.

lovetolerance Sun 07-Oct-12 13:44:27

Sorry, correction, 0.2%

SpringerS Wed 10-Oct-12 12:47:13

Lovetolerance. The reason that the vaccine given to pregnant women is the same as the one given to 3 year olds is that it is a much lower dose than the one given to 8 week olds. It's the same basic ingredients, just in lower quantities as when it's given to 3 year olds it's a booster rather than the full vaccine.

lovetolerance Wed 10-Oct-12 19:14:12

Ah, thanks for info! smile

VivaLeBeaver Wed 10-Oct-12 19:19:09

I also believe that the vaccine has been given to pregnant women in other countries for many years. Personally I'd take the vaccine. I've had whooping cough and was so, so ill with it. That was as an older child, was off school for months.

MarvellousYou Wed 10-Oct-12 19:27:38

I had whooping cough when I was around two years old- does that still mean I need to be vaccinated? I'm in my first trimester.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 10-Oct-12 19:55:02

Yes you should be. Immunity both natural and from childhood vaccinations can wear off.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 10-Oct-12 19:55:34

Oh and I'm living proof. I've actually had it twice, though second time not as bad.

GoSakuramachi Wed 10-Oct-12 19:59:32

Its been given to pregnant women in other countries for years.

And ten dead babies is not scaremongering. Spouting shit about vaccines is scaremongering, and bloody irresponsible too. hmm

Pocket2bounce Wed 10-Oct-12 22:39:37

Justbreath - you are extremely lucky that your 5 week old baby was not seriously ill with wc. Most babies that young who contract it are very seriously ill and usually hospitalized with complications. I think the other posters here have said it - fair enough if that was your experience - but irresponsible to make out wc is just an annoying cough and to suggest that vaccination is unnecessary. 11 babies have died so far this year in the uk alone - all under 12 weeks of age. My 6 week prem twin girls caught wc off me shortly after birth - I caught it on antenatal ward - yes I was vax as a child - but immunity wanes. I was v seriously ill - wc & a c section not a good mix! My girls nearly died - one suffered a stroke. We went through 2 months of Hell. I would give my right arm to go back in time and have the wc vax during pregnancy & not to go through the nightmare we endured.

SpringerS Thu 11-Oct-12 20:41:05

I had wc when I was 6 months old. I obviously have no memory of it but according to my mother it was a very mild illness for me and I recovered quickly, without any lasting effects. However, being 37 weeks pregnant, on Tuesday I was first in my surgery to get the vaccine. Just because the illness was very mild for me doesn't mean that it would be for my son if he got it. And even if it was mild for him he'd be contagious and could infect someone who could have a more severe case. As far as I'm concerned we live in a society not our own personal bubbles and so we have a duty to do what's best for everyone as much as we can. So I got the vaccine because as nerve wracking a decision as it was, I think it was the right thing to do.

lovetolerance Thu 11-Oct-12 22:28:11

GoSakuramachi, it's not irresponsible to give your opinion about anything. It's irresponsible to take someone's opinion or advice on face value, instead of weighing up the facts and coming to your own decision. Do the research and make your own choice. No one opinion should inform that and people should be free to express their views.

GoSakuramachi Thu 11-Oct-12 22:50:13

it is when it is based on misinformation. Take your own advice and do some research, since you post was full of errors.
Spreading lies is irresponsible.

tilder Thu 11-Oct-12 23:01:09

Am not sure why I post on vaccination related threads but some of the views are a little odd. Where on earth does all that rubbish about antibiotics weakening the immune system down generations come from?

PigletJohn Fri 12-Oct-12 00:23:36

I think I saw that WC immunity lasts in the region of 15-20 years, with the immunity from vaccination being at the lower end, so a lot of PG mums will be due a boost. If nothing else it will reduce the risk they subsequently get infected and pass on the actual disease, which is a real risk as we seem to be coming into a high point in WC cases.

We can generally be confident that any fever or ill-effects from vaccination will be far less severe than the effects of catching the disease.

lovetolerance Sat 13-Oct-12 11:35:00

GoSakuramachi - you're funny smile

Samr85 Sat 13-Oct-12 11:40:35

A friend actually told me that two of her elderly friends have also died from it and that in future they r going to offer the vaccine to older people too because people are living longer the vaccine isn't made to last that long and the effects of the vaccine wear off so the elderly will be offered a booster??!
Could this be part the reason why there seems to be a lot about at the moment? sad

PigletJohn Sat 13-Oct-12 13:09:21

"just because there are no known risks, doesn't mean there are no risks."

'hmmmmmm

I bet you don't eat turnips either. You never know, do you?

But we can be sure that the effects of catching the disease are likely to be far worse than the imaginary effects of taking the vaccine

lovetolerance Sun 14-Oct-12 11:45:10

I just don't feel I can be so glib when I'm talking about the well being of my unborn child. I don't really understand why people become aggressive/sarcastic on these forums, when some mothers are obviously really concerned about what to do. In my mind, people who really consider the choice and do some research are far wiser than those who blindly follow the latest medical advice, even if the outcome is the same. I don't think there is anything wrong with reading all research into possible side effects and experiences of others who have had similar vaccines during pregnancy. If the outcome of that reassures you and you have the vaccine, so be it. The evaluation of risk has to also include likelihood, i.e if I lived in a city/region of the country where there was an outbreak I would take whatever "imaginary" risk I perceived there to be. However, if I'm somewhere where there have been zero cases, then I obviously think harder about whether it is worth it.

steben Sun 14-Oct-12 11:54:41

I am 38 weeks and have had it - had to fight for it though as gp surgery behind the information released by DOH. However think they have caught up now as saw sign with notices for clinics for pregnant women.

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