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Whooping Cough Vaccination - necessary if already had it?

(15 Posts)
Slavetominidictator Wed 03-Sep-14 23:18:29

I'm 10 weeks pregnant and the midwife advised me to have both the 'flu and whooping cough vaccinations asap. Will get the 'flu one done soon, but wondered if it's necessary for me to have the whooping cough one, since had it as a child, so presumably may still have some immunity.
Asked the midwife and she had no idea; can't find anything on google either. Anyone know about this? Thanks.

Notfastjustfurious Wed 03-Sep-14 23:24:39

The whooping cough is to give the baby immunity for the first 8 weeks until they get their own so jab so assuming it wears off. You don't get it til 28 weeks though, you can of course refuse it if you think it's unnecessary. If you do get it though choose your non dominant arm as it hurts a lot afterwards.

PurplePotato Wed 03-Sep-14 23:29:21

Hello - I know a bit about whooping cough having had it recently. Immunity is thought to wear off, so even though you had it as a child you may well not be immune now. The only way to be sure is to have a blood test.

Eatscones Thu 04-Sep-14 00:08:07

I was given it at 28 weeks with my first DC and again less than 2 years later with this pregnancy at 28 weeks ... Was explained it is the timing that is important for newborn. I'm no expert, but that was my experience.

JangoInTheFamilyWay Thu 04-Sep-14 09:22:11

Hi, Yes at the moment you will be immune to whooping cough, but because you are unlikely to have been exposed to it recently you wont be actively producing a lot of antibodies against it.

The idea of the vaccination in pregnancy is to get you to start producing the antibodies again in bigger quantities so that they can be passed to the baby in the last trimester and then later in breast milk if you end up breast feeding.

The vaccine is much more useful for the baby if you have actually had it before, so there is no reason not to have it.

LittlePeasMummy1 Thu 04-Sep-14 12:25:43

Yes, it is recommended that you have it (although not until at least 28 weeks for optimum antibody transfer to the baby before birth). There are doubts about how long whooping cough immunity actually lasts. It is even recommended that you have the vaccine again if you have had it in a recent previous pregnancy.

You can find out more information here
www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/Medicine--pregnancy/whooping-cough-vaccine/

Also this is about the flu vaccine in pregnancy in case you are interested smile
www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/Medicine--pregnancy/Seasonal-influenza-vaccine/

Ange77 Thu 04-Sep-14 12:39:29

I had it last year whilst was was pregnant, the midwife has told me I will need to have it again for this pregnancy. Never had any problems or side effects, definately worth having for peice of mind.

DinoSnores Thu 04-Sep-14 14:21:11

I had it with DC3 and DC4, about 18 months apart. The injection site did hurt mildly for a few days afterwards but that was all.

Slavetominidictator Thu 04-Sep-14 18:48:40

Thanks very much dino - v helpful documents.

And I'm not worried about it hurting-- I inject myself with heparin every day, I'm worried about having an unnecessary vaccination, particularly during pregnancy.

UpUpAndAway123 Thu 04-Sep-14 21:23:49

Remember it's your decision. I decided not to have it. Looked at the pros and cons (including research and whooping cough statistics) and decided for me the potential risks didn't outweigh the benefits. I have told the GP that I may have it when baby is born and pass the antibodies on via breastfeeding (take 2 weeks to pass on and I doubt I will even go out in those 2 weeks if last time is anything to go by!)-she is fine with this. x

Bananice Thu 04-Sep-14 23:02:38

Like the previous posters, I had it during my first pregnancy two years ago and have just had it again at 28 weeks with my second. It's less about you not getting whooping cough (although of course that's a bonus!) than passing on immunity via your placenta to the foetus to protect it during the first six-eight weeks, hence needing it each pregnancy.

Slavetominidictator Fri 05-Sep-14 06:49:26

Thanks. I understand it's about the baby's immunity. I suppose I was asking if my potential immunity was still relevant and could be conveyed to the baby via breastfeeding, and as pp has said, the only way to know about my immunity would be a blood test. Then I would need to find out about the extent to which breastfeeding would cover it.
I just don't want to have the vaccine purely because no one at the GP surgery is prepared to think through the question and work out the most sensible course of action. There is a 'oh just have it' attitude that isn't helpful.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 05-Sep-14 07:35:45

It's because the GP relies on NICE guidelines and they should be. They aren't experts in everything and won't have time to research thoroughly anyway.

DinoSnores Fri 05-Sep-14 14:05:19

A lot of the answers to your questions are "We just don't know, but think it is best to reduce the risk of babies dying of whooping cough."

It is not possible to quantify everything down to numbers. Science is based on populations and you want very specific advice tailored to you and there just isn't that data available. It may be that you have enough residual immunity to pass on to the baby but you might not and no blood test is going to tell you anything more that you personally have sufficient antibodies for you.

squizita Fri 05-Sep-14 14:20:05

It's your decision ... but it could affect your child or someone else's (who cannot have the vaccine due to health reasons) if you choose not to because your desire for control and answers negates trust in hcp and NICE recommendations.

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