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14wks pregnant should I have flu and whooping cough vaccines?

(60 Posts)
AlphaBeta82 Fri 30-Nov-12 10:43:00

Keep hearing a lot about both but neither doctor or midwife have mentioned?
Have others had the jabs and is whooping cough a new one as I didn't have it with DS.

Quack3rs Sat 08-Dec-12 09:43:29

Not true about the whopping cough vaccine! I've had both the flu and WC and im only 5 weeks pregnant x

AlphaBeta82 Mon 03-Dec-12 12:47:49

Hi All,
GP phoned me theis morning to say they had more vaccines in and to pop down to have it done. I hate injections and kept expecting pain until nurse said ok you can go now and to my surprise she'd already done it!
Now why can't labour be that simple!!! wink

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Sat 01-Dec-12 13:06:07

Haven't read all but a paediatrician being interviewed on 5Live yesterday (they had a feature on WC) said in the 3rd trimester a lot of antibodies from the mother pass into the foetus to offer some protection in the early weeks/months and that's why WC is given then. He also said that as the foetus is largely developed by then - it's fleshing out what's already there in the main - the risks in terms of malformations or anything of that ilk are very low.

He also said WC is worse now because in the past a lot of people got immunity from having it, and this lasts longer than a vaccination-based immunity. Although as scissy says, he did also say that even naturally acquired immunity wears off eventually.

mosschops30 Sat 01-Dec-12 13:05:08

I know very little about the WC vaccine but if i was pg i woukd have it.

Flu can be awful in pg women, i worked on ITU and saw some tragic cases of flu in pg women sad
i had the pandemrix vaccine at the height of the swine flu nightmare, and am so glad i did.

Please protect yourself and your baby, we are so lucky to be provided with all this free protection.

ArkadyRose Sat 01-Dec-12 12:55:43

Suze77 Sadly no; whether naturally-acquired or vaccinated, not all immunity is permanent. If you keep coming in contact with the virus in question then your body will keep the relevant antibodies up to date; the problem with WC is that the vaccination program has been perhaps a little too efficient - so we just don't come in contact with the virus after vaccination as much as we did, say, 20 years ago. So the body stops producing the antibodies after a while, and then when we do come in contact with it we just don't have the immunity any more. As an adult, once the immunity has lapsed we're vulnerable to WC in the form of 90-day cough which can have other complications such as pleurisy etc.

The TB vaccine is another one that wears off - usually after 8-15 years.

AlphaBeta82 Sat 01-Dec-12 12:52:14

Hi Rooney,
My understanding is you need to have flu as it is not the flu that necessary causes problems for unborn babies but the rise in the mothers temperature which causes the issue. Obviously not great for a newborn to have flu but easier to manage (I thin! - I am no medical professional!)

noblegiraffe Sat 01-Dec-12 09:32:53

It looks like the vast majority of cases are in the over 15 category because if you think about it, the majority of people are over 15. The other categories are broken down quite finely by age so there'll be fewer people in each of those categories getting WC even if whooping cough is spread evenly throughout the population.

That said, you might expect to see it more in the over 15s as immunity wears off, but the figures are less reliable as you are more likely to take your child to the doctor with a cough. I think many adults don't even realise what they've had.

Suze77 Sat 01-Dec-12 08:11:03

Thanks ardakyrose. I had whooping cough when I was six, lots of kids in my class were off school for weeks with it, and my asthmatic sister (who was three at the time) spent about a week in hospital with it. I didn't know there was a vaccine around at the time. I always thought all natural immunity was lifelong.

RooneyMara Sat 01-Dec-12 07:35:00

Ooh perhaps you can answer a q for me, if you've a minute? (don't worry if you haven't!)

When I spoke to the nurse who gave me the WC one, about the flu one, she said definitely have it as that too will protect the baby from flu.

I had not heard this reason before - is it true? Obviously they don't give tiny babies the flu jab - do they? So should I have it for that reason even if I'm not too worried about getting it in my last 5 weeks of pg?

Thanks anyone who can advise.

bigkidsdidit Sat 01-Dec-12 07:28:59

Yes do have both

Im a respiratory scientist and I'm pregnant and having both. Flu can be very serious in pregnant women.

RooneyMara Sat 01-Dec-12 07:24:59

Just to note that the vast majority of cases are happening among people over 15, so, mainly adults.

I'm not sure why this is.

funnyperson Sat 01-Dec-12 07:14:35

Yes do have the whooping cough vaccine. My sis and brother n law just had whooping cough. I was really surprised. They were both vaccinated as children and aren't that ancient. Sis was very ill for a very long time. Vaccinating the mum gives protection to the baby because the mum's antibodies generated by the vaccine cross the placenta.

AlphaBeta82 Fri 30-Nov-12 20:47:38

Thanks all, I didn't go in earlier for flu as had so many miscarriages getting to this point I thought I would jinx myself if I went and got it earlier, silly as i know that sounds.
Called DR's taday and they've currently run out and trying to source new vaccines so asked me to call back monday. I know I can get it privately if needed.
Thansk for all the advice. smile

RubyrooUK Fri 30-Nov-12 20:39:43

Ah I see from the comments posted while I was typing that yes I do need the WC vaccine despite having had it. Thanks. smile

RubyrooUK Fri 30-Nov-12 20:37:01

I am 25 weeks pregnant.

I was planning to get the WC one because it is so serious for babies. But I actually had WC at 14mo old and was very ill for months - do I still need it or do I have natural immunity as I actually had the disease? I get a bit confused about whether I have immunity now; have never had the injection (hence actually getting WC).

Not sure about flu jab for number of reasons. One, have a mental job at the moment and even a day or two feeling ill is impossible. Two, I had it as a teen when my mum had a compromised immune system and it made me very ill so I am a bit worried about that. Three, I already have a toddler who has had colds/flu several times this winter already; I seem to get a mild version of his ones so am rarely actually feeling fully healthy, which makes me less inclined again to have the jabs while feeling rough!

I'm going to ask the midwife in a couple of weeks at my 28 week appointment about the flu jab though and see if she can set my mind at ease.

GinGirl Fri 30-Nov-12 20:27:52

Had the flu jab at 12 weeks, didn't want to risk waiting til later in the flu season. And with one school age, one preschooler and one toddler - they bring home all sorts!
Re WC, all vaccines lose effectiveness with time. That is why you are retested for Rubella immunity each pregnancy. So it doesn't matter if you were vaccinated against WC as a child and that it has 'worn off', WC in adults is commonly called the '90 day cough', you may not realise you have it and may not even have the 'whoop' sound. WC is not (usually) fatal in adults. It is proving to be a massive problem if contracted by babies under 8 weeks. Hence the vaccination of pregnant women - I feel it would be unnecessarily risky to turn it down!

I'd definitely seek it out and get the vaccine if I was pregnant, I had WC as a child aged around 10 in the 80s, as did my then baby brother, (I think there was a vaccine but we didn't have it) WC was incredibly debilitating, just relentless whooping, I can still hear his baby whoops, he was so poorly and we gave it to my granny who detatched a retina with the coughing.

Just horrible memories of the episode all round. Just this week I made enquiries about my perfectly healthy 5 and 3 year old getting the vaccine as I've always been a bit twitchy about it and was sad to hear it was back. They aren't considered at risk so that's fine, but if they were I'd be first in the queue for them.

It is a new thing, I think it's in the third trimester you get offered it but definitely worth a call to the GP to check.

Can I echo imagines post about getting your flu jab soon. I phoned to see if I could have mine on 19th when I have a day off for some tests and my practice only has 80 left and they will run out by then... So i'm going in on Tuesday and have to suck up the fact that its more time off and less pay...

VivaLeBeaver Fri 30-Nov-12 19:04:01

Also natural whooping cough immunity only lasts for on average 8 years.

I speak in bitter experience after having whooping cough twice! Both times properly diagnosed and about 7 years apart.

scissy Fri 30-Nov-12 19:03:46

I have had both, flu at 25 wks and wc at 28. I felt a bit headachy after both, but apparently that's common. Tbh, given what can happen to newborns who catch wc it was a no-brainer for me. Suze77, apparently even natural immunity to wc wears off, so if you had wc as a child that's no guarantee you won't get it again as an adult.

ArkadyRose Fri 30-Nov-12 19:02:47

(That comment addressed to suze77 btw.)

ArkadyRose Fri 30-Nov-12 19:01:46

No, most mothers-to-be will have received the vaccine as babies, not actually contracted whooping cough themselves. Since the WC vaccine was introduced in the 1950s the WC rate dropped steadily - so the only mothers with natural immunity now will be those who caught WC as babies before they were old enough to be vaccinated - which was the case with me. (Caught it at 3 weeks old, nearly died of it, spent 8 weeks in ICU.)

BlingBubbles Fri 30-Nov-12 18:58:28

Yes yes and yes!!! Especially to the whooping cough vaccine! I had the flu jab at 14 weeks pregnant and it didn't affect me at all

I have had both. Neither the midwife nor the GP surgery mentioned them to me - in my area you have to ring the GP and book them yourself. Tell them you are pregnant when you book.

Suze77 Fri 30-Nov-12 18:46:39

sorry about stray apotrophe in above post!

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