Would you like to be on Mumsnet's research panel? We're especially keen for parents-to-be and new parents to join. You can sign up here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive on offer for your views.

Whooping cough jab

(323 Posts)
blonderthanred Fri 28-Sep-12 07:43:06

Anyone got any views on this?

I just read on the BBC website that due to the recent cases, pg women are all to be offered a whooping cough jab between 28-38 weeks, to take place at a routine antenatal appt.

I'm 34+3 so I guess they may offer it next week when I go in - it doesn't say whether there will be any notification or info sent, or if I will just be told/offered it on the day. What do people think about this issue, it seems a sudden decision which makes me nervous but I guess there will have been a longer thought process. Plenty of people have the flu jab when pg although I believe that only offers the mother protection, not the baby (?) so I don't know if there are any risks or even if it crosses the placenta.

I was born in '76 when there was a scare about the baby wh cough jab (recently proven false) so I didn't have it and then caught wh cough. I don't know if that will make any difference.

ThreeWheelsGood Fri 28-Sep-12 07:48:43

I'll take whatever vaccines they offer! Have my 36 week appt this weekend so will ask then - don't know if they'll be offering already by then.

Lilliana Fri 28-Sep-12 07:52:29

I've just seen this. The news said it does cross the placenta and protects the baby as they can't immunise them until they are 2 months. I think the flu jab also continues to provide protection if they are breast fed so maybe this is the same? I want to find out more too as have a mw app next week (33 weeks) and want to know more about it before I'm offered it.

This has been talked about for a few months as the number of whopping cough cases has increased. If I were pregnant I would have this jab. Without a second thought actually. Whooping cough is a horrible illness and a killer for newborn babies. The idea is that the jab will boost your antibodies and thus give them enough to keep them safe till their own jabs start at 8 weeks.

I Was told the flu jab protects the baby even if you don't breastfeed?

blonderthanred Fri 28-Sep-12 07:57:13

Yes, most of me thinks absolutely, have it, but then a little part of me envisages a headline in 2 years time saying it was all a big mistake and lots of babies were affected in some way. But then I am quite hormonal so I can't claim that's a rational response.

Does anyone know if some pg women have this jab already, or what research there is?

wkmmum Fri 28-Sep-12 07:57:24

I'm 32 weeks and have a midwife appt next week so am going to ask about it. Am also due the flu jab next week as well.

My initial thoughts are that I'll have it as they say it crosses the placenta and gives baby protection but a little concerned if they offer it next week as I'm wondering if having that and the flu jab so close together will be too much xx

Waswondering Fri 28-Sep-12 08:01:31

I've just read the article and it said the antibodies would cross to the placenta. If you've already had WC, as opposed to being vaccindated against it, can you have a blood test to see what your antibodies are like and to see if it's sufficient (disclaimer - I've not got the first idea about these things! Not medical!)? I had a blood test when I came into contact with chicken pox when early pg, which confirmed my immunity, hence I'm wondering.

I too didn't get the WC vaccination - I too caught it. My parents said it was truly awful.

All the best op!

blonder - the jab is being offered to women at 28 weeks plus. So all significant neurological and physical development has been done. The baby will get some antibodies that they would be getting in anything from 3 to 5 months later in a bigger dose through their own jab. There's no such thing as a 100% safe intervention. Everything has a risk. In this case though I think the risk is tiny and the danger of WC is significant.

Here is the info from department of health

Doodlekitty Fri 28-Sep-12 08:10:35

I'm off for my 36 week app today, if I'm offered it I'll have it. But, if it's anything like the flu jab my doc won't offer it until 3 days before I'm due and there's no way I'm having it then cos it always knocks me for 6.

blonderthanred Fri 28-Sep-12 08:13:50

That's interesting, NL, thanks for the link. Sounds like something to go for.

I was wondering the same thing wondering, but it sounds like our immunity won't be passed on to the baby so the jab will cover it early on.

I'm still interested to know what the advice will be re the flu jab, whether to leave a gap etc.

Homebird8 Fri 28-Sep-12 08:43:32

My friends' prem baby twins nearly died of WC last year. I wouldn't hesitate to vaccinate if I were pregnant.

femmeaufoyer Fri 28-Sep-12 08:43:55

I am 29 weeks and living in France, my doctor has said that I will be given the whooping cough jab...I think it's standard here. He has also said that my DH has to have it! But I've also had to be tested for Toxylasmosis every month here too. They seem to do more tests and give more jabs here.

SomedayIllFlyAway Fri 28-Sep-12 08:45:03

I'm 37 weeks today and have an appointment with the MW next week when I am 37+6, so will phone the doctors this morning about it as it seems like a good idea to get it asap.

milk Fri 28-Sep-12 09:34:04

I'm furious angry They've known about this for weeks, yet only announcing it now- and as I'm 39+3 I can't have the jab sad

Sproglet Fri 28-Sep-12 09:37:45

Just to say the USA have been doing this for years so therefore I would have thought it was safe as something would have come out of the woodwork by now. I am 30 weeks and am defo having my flu and whooping cough jab the risks are just too great in catching the illnesses and at the end of the day would the goverment really recomend something they are not sure about? As this is the future generation and I am sure they have learnt from pass mistakes regarding law suits extra.

Sproglet Fri 28-Sep-12 09:38:53

Sorry 'etc' not 'extra' !

milk I'm in exactly the same boat (38+6 today, so over 39w once the jabs are rolled out) - gutted, as DH had it a few years back and it was awful sad Will be speaking to the GP this morning and will report back!

Sproglet Fri 28-Sep-12 09:39:24

Milk is this your first child ?

Katienana Fri 28-Sep-12 09:57:43

I'm 40 weeks today so will miss the cut off, anyone know how best to protect my newborn from catching it? How is it being spread? We have lots of family who work in schools and hospitals would they be higher risk for spreading it? Should I be stocking up on alcohol hand gel?

Elsqueak Fri 28-Sep-12 09:57:59

I am 33wks. Was exactly the same when I heard about it this morning; is it safe? Also my parents refused me the jab in the seventies.
My nurse told me the doctor who did the researchmback then was exposed as incompetent for using a focus group of 12 children when the common practice is to use something like 1000+ (her words not mine, not at all medical here!).

My trouble is that scientific bodies/government are always changing their minds about what is safe and what isn't so naturally you wonder about it.

I think though, with the danger of WC being potentially fatal it is something I will be having but I totally concur it is a contentious issue.

Brycie Fri 28-Sep-12 10:01:54

Blonderthanred, I happen to know about this a little bit, it hasn't been tested for effectiveness or safety on pregnant women, and not for effectiveness in being passed through to new baby, but it's been given to pregnant women inadvertently in France and Germany with no ill effects.

OctoberOctober Fri 28-Sep-12 10:06:13

Just spoke to doctors surgery and they had no idea what they were doing about it as first they had heard was on news today... Hopefully that was just the receptionist.

She said the doctors need to decide if they are offering it and will then need to order vaccines so to phone back next week. I'm already 38 weeks so don't want to be leaving it till late though. sad

Katie it's spread through saliva/water droplets in the air etc. Trouble is, it's most infectious in the first fortnight, usually before symptoms appear, from what I understand.

Brycie Fri 28-Sep-12 10:11:48

Oh also I know that it's the pre-shcool booster vaccine not the one given to babies and it's not recommended for pregnant women but that's because they're not allowed to "research " with pregnant women so they don't have the safety studies. However all the doctors are saying it's safe.

elizaregina Fri 28-Sep-12 10:13:15

as i expected my gp had no idea whatsoever about this jab when i called this morning!

Brycie Fri 28-Sep-12 10:15:39

It supposed to be offered from Monday.

Tincletoes Fri 28-Sep-12 10:21:42

10 young babies have died this year from whooping cough. If I was pregnant I wouldn't think twice about this one - and if I was 38 weeks pregnant today, I'd be hammering on the door of the surgery to get it before it was too late.

DebussyHead Fri 28-Sep-12 10:21:48

Does anyone know if the vaccinations will be offered UK wide or just in England/Wales? I live in Scotland and there is mention of England/Wales in the report suggesting Scotland might be omitted? I am 34+3 so quite worried about this.

With my first pregnancy it was height of the swine flu epidemic and I was just commenting the other day how nice its been not to have had the to vaccinate or not vaccinate dilema I had last time!! Last time I chose not to take the swine flu vaccination as I was unhappy with levels of testing and there were cases of miscarriage and other neurological disorders linked to it at the time. But I would get the whooping cough vaccine as it has been used in US and France etc.

milk Fri 28-Sep-12 10:36:48

Thanks FluffyJawsOfDoom smile

DebussyHead Fri 28-Sep-12 10:46:49

Milk and Fluffy and anyone else over 38 weeks just read this on the NHS website:

"You can still have the vaccine after 38 weeks but this may not protect your baby from whooping cough, as your body might not have enough time to produce the antibodies before your baby is born. However, being vaccinated after 38 weeks will help protect you from whooping cough and from passing it on to your baby. "

so might be worthwhile still trying to get it?

SomedayIllFlyAway Fri 28-Sep-12 10:50:06

I have just spoke to my doctors too and they are waiting on hearing from the PCT about it, so it is looking unlikely they will start giving the vaccine on Monday.

DebussyHead Fri 28-Sep-12 10:50:18

Just called my GP who said they will NOT be giving the whooping cough vaccination to pregnant women and that the midwife team in hospital will be doing it. Then called the midwife team in hospital who said a) they have not heard anything about whooping cough outbreak or any vaccination (told her to watch the news today!) and B) that the GP would do it and not them. Arghgghg! As per usual communication not the strong point of our health service.

I reckon although it is meant to be available from monday it will take at least a week before health service knows what the hell is happening, who is doing what etc which means people will miss out. Seems a shambles based on my last two phone calls!

EdMcDunnough Fri 28-Sep-12 10:56:16

does anyone know if you need to space it apart from the flu one?

I'm supposed to have that as well, 25/26 weeks atm.


ShellyBobbs Fri 28-Sep-12 10:57:37

I've been into my surgery this morning, they are waiting for the PCT to get back to them, I've got the immunity co-ordinator ringing me later as I'm definitely having it ASAP (33+2) and I've just had my flu jab today too.

PeshwariNaan Fri 28-Sep-12 10:57:54

I'll likely have it as it offers baby protection for the first couple of months before s/he can be vaccinated. Hopefully they will sort everything in the time I have before I reach that stage in pregnancy. I'm from the US and it's been standard practice for years over there; it's thought to be safe.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 11:14:41

hi, can anyone tell me if having had whooping cough myself means that I don't need the vaccine? will I still pass antibodies to the baby or not?

AliceHurled Fri 28-Sep-12 11:17:06

I wondered that. From what I could find, it only offers immunity for a couple of years (as does the vaccine). That was only from an amateur google though

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 11:18:52

ah it was yonks ago! I'll ask about it when I get my flu jab then

whooping cough is AWFUL by the way, I had it as a very young child and still remember the horror of not being able to breath out while watching my hands turn blue!

Halloweeny - my understanding is that you may - but it depends on your level of antibodies. If you had whooping cough as a child that may not offer sufficient protection now.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 11:27:24

so perhaps a blood test first to check?

DonnaDoon Fri 28-Sep-12 11:34:43

My Doctors have received no information yet from those at the top and told me to ring back on monday.

ShellyBobbs Fri 28-Sep-12 11:36:29

They are recommending the vaccine as a booster whether or not you've already had whooping cough.

It's a horrendous thing, my brother had it as a baby and was ill for 18 months after, it really is a serious illness and anyone who is not sure about getting this vaccination really should speak to a professional before coming to a final decision.

ShellyBobbs Fri 28-Sep-12 11:38:23

'The vaccine will be offered to pregnant women during routine antenatal appointments with a nurse, midwife or GP.

Even if women have previously been immunised they will be encouraged to be vaccinated again to boost their immunity, because this helps protect their babies before they can start their own immunisations.'

Department of health linkey again

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 11:39:07

it really is, sorry to bang on but its no ordinary cough, I get really panicey even now if I have any sort of respiratory infection because the memory of whooping cough affected me so badly, I had to be watched 24 hours a day, my family and aunties took it in shifts, it really was terrifying. I remember it so clearly and I was only a toddler

halloweeny - I really wouldn't wait for a blood test.

annelid Fri 28-Sep-12 11:40:50

From what I've read, its not just whooping cough, its the 4 in 1 - polio, diptheria, tetanus & whooping cough. I can see why the docs are offering this jab, but I'm just not sure, same with the flu jab.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 11:42:31

northernlurker my GP hasn't even got their first batch of flu jab in yet (I'm booked in for the first slot they have) and sounds like the info/jabs haven't been distributed yet anyway, I'm 26 weeks so I have a LITTLE bit of grace

but don't worry I will get on it and get booked in for when it does come in

OctoberOctober Fri 28-Sep-12 11:45:37

Just texted midwife and seriously that was the first she had heard of it angry

DonnaDoon Fri 28-Sep-12 11:50:11

October It really is a shower of shit when the press release stuff like this before the surgerys are informed isnt it?

I'll definitely be having it. Working where I do, I've seen too many babies this year hospitalised with whooping cough, and sadly one died. It's scary enough seeing any baby go blue and floppy, I'll take anything on offer to lessen the risk of having to witness that happen to my own sad.

HonorOakK Fri 28-Sep-12 11:56:17

I called my GP today and they were surprised I am asking about it. Receptionist did not hear the news. She thought I am talking about flu jab. They offered me a flu jab on my due date in November - the earliest possible date:-( I will ask my MW if I can get it any time earlier.
Have you been offered any vaccination by GP/MW?

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 12:01:39

yeah my gp isn't getting the flu jab in till end of next week, I'm booked in for sat which is their first flu jab clinic, but at the mo they don't even have any stock yet

re whooping cough I'm gonna wait till a few dozen other people have rung up and then ring them next week about it when they might have got the memo!

ShellyBobbs Fri 28-Sep-12 12:05:29

I know an email went out this morning to everyone, my mum works at a local surgery and phoned me as soon as she got in (at 10am) and an email was in her inbox already, but not sure when it went out and that's no good for community workers really!

Not been offered anything by anyone Honor, it's only because I spoke to the practice nurse this morning that she gave me the flu jab there and then, she did ask if my midwife had mentioned the flu vaccination and went hmm when I said no (I've seen about 5 different midwives in the last 2 weeks due to various things too).

Clarella Fri 28-Sep-12 12:06:51

Hi all, I honestly don't know if this will help or not but the health protection agency have been monitoring / publishing stats for a few months nd have lots of info. It explains immunity too which can wear off - a lot of us may have had it mildly as adults which topped up immunity however may not have known - horrid long term cough but not necessarily with a 'whoop'. Jab will help. I agree not great for those further along and I don't know what to advise, id probably still want it and make sure other children are up to date with their jabs. I expect they've been trying to get the vaccines in stock (would need to source/culture extra) before announcing.

After having gone through slapped cheek stuff non-immunity stuff this pregnancy I found that both the hpa and nhs websites as well as being in the know about sensible flu hygiene stuff etc helped as its notoriously hard to know which kids have that if you work closely with them. I hope it doesn't worry anyone more but might inform you to feel more confident about choices etc.

Clarella Fri 28-Sep-12 12:15:31

Sorry terrible baby brain grammar re stuffs above - it was essentially quite a confusing and anxious time, I'd advise trying to be careful with cough/flu hygiene and trying (says the one who went totally loopy!) not to worry too much until things are clarified about those over 38 wks.

DonnaDoon Fri 28-Sep-12 12:15:35

Hmmm Thanks for that Clarella but like you say for those of us at 35wks+ it is worrying and no one seems to know what to advise. If we dont recieve the jab in time it will be a rather worrying first 8 wks of babies life especially for those in high risk groups/and/or with other children who bring germs home from school etc.

DonnaDoon Fri 28-Sep-12 12:18:36

PS My other children were born at 35wks 37wks and 38 wks....eeeek

BouncyPenguin Fri 28-Sep-12 12:18:39

Pregnant ladies please go and have the jab. My son caught whooping cough at 3 weeks old. He had only been out to my Mum's, Tesco and IKEA! I had the whooping cough jab when I was young but the immunity must have worn off too much and was not passed on to him in the womb. That is why the booster jab is needed at this time for pregnant women during this epidemic. It was not clear what the cough was for the first 2 weeks we were told it was bronchiolitis and he gradually became seriously ill. It took 4 visits to the doctors and two hospital stays to get a correct diagnosis. By 5 weeks old he spent 4 days in hospital on oxygen and antibiotics. It's not just a bad sounding cough. My baby struggled to breathe both during and in between coughing fits. He had a bluish tinge to him as he was not getting enough oxygen. He vomited during or between every single feed and lost weight (not the weight they normally lose after birth, this was weight loss due to not being able to keep any milk down). The cough was painful and distressing for him and us. We were lucky that we finally got the diagnosis and hospital care he needed to get through the worst of it. He could have stopped breathing or developed pneumonia and died as others have. He is now 14 weeks old and still coughing. The Chinese call this the cough of 100 days. Well we're over 100 days now and still counting! He is a lot better now though and is a smiley happy boy. There are 10 mothers who have lost their babies to this just this year. Thousands of others who have had to watch their newborns suffer. Please get the jab if you can. I wish I had had the chance to avoid him suffering and nearly dying.

DonnaDoon Fri 28-Sep-12 12:22:00

BouncyPenguin sad Sending lots of love and wishes to your boy bless him.... Believe me Ill have the jab...I want it now !

whatsonyourplate Fri 28-Sep-12 12:23:17

I was at my hospital for a growth scan this morning, so I asked the midwife about it and she didn't know, went to check with her boss, she didn't know what was happening either, I've been advised to ask my GP. I'll be 38 weeks on Tuesday though so no idea if I'll get it in time.
Oh and I didn't have the jab as a child due to the scare at the time.

I think awareness will help. In March this year my oldest daughter (14) was slightly unwell, she seemed better but still had what seemed a minor cough when we went a few days later to see our new baby niece. Whooping cough never entered my mind. she wasn't even coughing badly at that point. a month later when she was still coughing in really severe spasms but ok in between times I read something on here about whooping cough. I took her to the GP who dismissed WC but did give her antibiotics. Gradually she improved but the cough certainly fitted the nickname for WC - the 100 day cough. Dd1 has been fully vaccinated and I don't know that she had WC but I strongly suspect it. Thankfully my niece was not affected. I feel absolutely sick when I think about how I may have unintentionally exposed her. I would not have taken a sick child to see her, I took a child who had been unwell the previous week and seemed recovered. Knowing what I know now about the WC outbreak I will be ultra-cautious about taking the dds to see any newborn babies. If you're having a baby this autumn I think you have to be very strict about visitors who aren't completely well. Thinking about my own experiences I would ask if anybody has a cough - and if they do don't let them in!

I also think it's scandalous that GP practices haven't been properly briefed in advance of the announcement.

Clarella Fri 28-Sep-12 12:30:16

So sorry to hear what you've been through bouncy, I hope your little one continues to get better and sending you hugs. I agree definately get jab. It's a worry what those outside the time limit do.

A few weeks ago I'm sure I blearily heard they were thinking of giving the jab to mum and possibly dad plus any other very close family when baby was born. But a vague report and I can't remember where that was. Imo that should be done for those who don't qualify for the jab but I imagine will be a stock issue? Shouldn't be.

OctoberOctober Fri 28-Sep-12 12:51:33

DonnaDoon - I couldn't have put it better myself!

Anyone looked at private options for getting the vaccination? We did this with DS's chicken pox jab and at 38 weeks I don't feel i've got time to waste for the surgery to get it's act together.

Goldrill Fri 28-Sep-12 13:09:48

October - I am. I'm 38+1 today and am really bloody annoyed that this is all over the press but neither GP surgery or MW knows anything about it. How on earth is it being "offerred from Monday"?!

My older daughter is at a busy nursery and catches everything going and I've already had a nasty run-in with hand, foot and mouth. I really don't want to take the risk with the new baby.

Hope your little boy continues to improve, bouncy.

MidLine Fri 28-Sep-12 13:19:43

Just called my GP and they are apparently getting the vaccine in on Tuesday so looks like the wheels are starting to get in motion. Might be a good idea to ring up and see if you can book an appt, mine have said I can come in on Friday. Best of luck everyone.

DebussyHead Fri 28-Sep-12 13:35:57

I also think its scandalous that both my GP and midwife team know nothing about it when the press are being fairly alarmist! Saying 'available from GP or Midwife' then both GP and Midwife tell me 'Not us, we aren't responsible for it' - shocking.

ShellyBobbs Fri 28-Sep-12 13:41:19

I'll be phoning up everyday next week if I don't hear back off them today and failing any outcome from that I'll start hounding my local PCT!

turnwest Fri 28-Sep-12 13:49:29

I ve just rang my surgery and was given an appointment straight away for next Thursday, I ll be nearly 39 weeks then though so I m not convinced it will be effective in protecting the baby but I m going to have it done anyway. Receptionist did nt ask any questions so hope she has nt just booked me in for flu vaccination.

elizaregina Fri 28-Sep-12 13:50:32


I saw this this morning as well. I'm already booked in for my flu jab, and when I phoned the doctor this morning, there has been no official line taken on it in my surgery, but I've to phone back next week. I'm 27 weeks today, so by the time it is rolled out, I'll be right in the middle of the time for getting it, which is excellent. Anything that can make babies safer is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned - and if they've been offering it for years in the most litigious society in the world (the States), without issue, then that's good enough for me.

Katienana Fri 28-Sep-12 13:51:45

I had my 40 wk check up this,morning and was told they are ordering the vaccine and if it's available and I'm still pregnant next week I can have it. I will be along anyone with a cough to stay away!

elizaregina Fri 28-Sep-12 13:54:00

020 7210 4850 is the number for dept of health

MoonHare Fri 28-Sep-12 13:59:55

Typical Government cock up this isn't it?!

I'll be 37 weeks tomorrow, so only a week to have the jab and have the best opportunity of it protecting DC3 due on 20th Oct.

I phoned my GP surgery first thing after hearing the news about the jab on the Today programme.

The receptionist knew nothing and hadn't heard/seen any news. She took my details for the nurse to phone me.

The practice nurse rang me back at 10.30am she had seen an item on the local news, which was the first she had heard of it. She explained that although they would have vaccine in stock - pre school booster - they require certain paperwork to allow them to go ahead and administer vaccines. They don't have this, she had no idea what would happen or whose responsibility it was to sort it out.

There was a smiliar flurry of information/misinformation 2 years ago when the flu jab was offered to pregnant women for the first time. I had a real struggle to get immunised that time too.

What are the Dept of Health thinking of releasing information to the media before front line health services??? Do they think we'll do their job for them by forcing GP surgeries into action through pressure of numbers of pregnant women contacting them? I'm going to email my MP.

elizaregina Fri 28-Sep-12 13:59:57

just called dh, letters only went out last night to doctors!

how stupid, i asked him to feed back that it would be better to first of all let the letters go out and the doctros be prepared BEFORE announcing it on national tv, and leaving worried pregnant ladies batted between other bodies who have no idea what they are talking about!

he didnt want to know and said he couldnt pass that on to anyone.

thanks government!

elizaregina Fri 28-Sep-12 14:00:42

im going to email my MP as well. its digsutting!

pickledraisins Fri 28-Sep-12 14:06:29

I'm 38+4 and asked at my pre op (Elcs) check this morning. They also knew nothing but was concerned that if I got it now there might be side effects and I could feel unwell for my ELCS in 6 days. That wouldn't bother me if was I was protecting my baby, however if it could affect the ELCS it's a different matter. Does any key know if there are side effects?

pickledraisins Fri 28-Sep-12 14:07:18

Any body know

kate2boysandabump Fri 28-Sep-12 14:07:26

I'll definitely be having this, I was born in '77 and I didn't have the jab for health reasons. I got WC and was ill for 6 months. My mom was never quite the same afterwards as a result of having to care for a blue tinged toddler who was constantly struggling for breath. She rang me this morning to tell me to ring the GP to get booked in. She has found the news of an outbreak pretty distressing, that other children are suffering as I did sad

I can't remember who asked, but the best way to protect your baby from getting whooping cough is to hope that people take up the vaccine to give sufficient coverage in the general population. Sadly there's nothing any of us can do about that.

If you can face it try, googling what it sounds like it's horrific.

kate2boysandabump Fri 28-Sep-12 14:09:07

In the BBC article I read this morning, it said a likely side effect was a fever. I don't know if that would mean you couldn't have your section, I suspect it would, but obviously I'm not an expert.

imustbepatient Fri 28-Sep-12 14:31:39

I'm just coming up 37 weeks and rang my surgery who didn't know about it either, but the receptionist was great, took my number, spoke to the Dr and rang me back. Ok so the answer was still they didn't know but that they thought speaking to the midwife would be best as the hospital may be administering them. I was grateful they tried at least!

Midwife unit at the hospital had clearly had lots of calls about this but didn't have the info to give out yet either, other than to say they don't have the vaccines yet, they are currently reading through the paperwork they have just received about it all and expect to know more by Monday. Hence I will be bothering them again on Monday... I feel sorry for the midwives and Drs with the overload of unnecessary calls they will have to deal with just because the press release timing has been handled so badly.

MoonHare Fri 28-Sep-12 14:35:53

I've just emailed my MP to complain and to seek assurance that he will be doing all in his power to protect the lives of babies in his constituency.

"What a horrendous situation it would be if a baby were to die locally becasue the vaccine was not made available to its mother despite a national public announcement by the Government that it would be." Bit emotive I know but I am seriously pissed off about this latest Government cock-up. They really are clueless.

MoonHare Fri 28-Sep-12 14:38:18

Oh I also emailed the BBC to make sure they are aware of the other story here - i.e. communication cock-up by Government.

Spoke to my GP - she knew about it from the news this morning (!) but said they had heard nothing from the PCT which is who makes the decisions on who gets what jabs, so nothing they could do before that happens and they would contact anyone who needed it. By the time they hear, though, it'll be too late for me technically I'm probably too late now but she did at least say that in our area they hadn't seen the same higher incidence of WC as reported on the news.

The video interview on the DoH website was quite interesting, the chap seemed to suggest the current outbreak may have something to do with the scrapping of booster shots in teenagers. I wonder if they'll reinstate them?

moonhare let us know if you get a response!

DonnaDoon Fri 28-Sep-12 14:43:24

Well Done MoonHare

Sidge Fri 28-Sep-12 14:51:27

I'm a practice nurse working for a GP surgery and we've heard nothing about this apart from what's on the news. We haven't had any guidance from the HPA or local PCT so can't vaccinate anyone, especially as we don't know which vaccine would be offered and how it would be funded/supplied.

There are two vaccines containing pertussis (WC) - the one for babies that also has diphtheria, tetanus, polio and Hib and the one for preschoolers that also has diphtheria, tetanus and polio. So there isn't a single vaccine for pertussis alone.

DonnaDoon Fri 28-Sep-12 15:00:49

Sidge In that case isnt it diabolical that a woman from the Department of Health specifically said on this mornings BBC news that those 35wks+ were to contact their Gp today and arrange to have the jab ASAP. ? It really is shocking I think.

DonnaDoon Fri 28-Sep-12 15:04:43

Disclaimer I know this is totally no fault of the GPs and midwives department whatsoever...They are in the dark about this too.

Sidge Fri 28-Sep-12 15:08:46

Yup, I think it's piss poor that they've plastered info all over the news but have made no provision to actually inform the people that may be giving the jabs what they're to do.

Clarella Fri 28-Sep-12 15:17:48

Somebody must have sanctioned the news being released to the press, its a shame they haven't prepared the professionals at the same time as worrying all those out of the time limits stated at probably the most stressful time in pregnancy.

My experience with my gp would lead me to believe that I'm sure they wouldn't deny a woman over 38 wks a jab if they were concerned, its just they wouldn't necessarily pass on the immunity to baby in time - however then she would definately be immune. Of course that's just my lovely gp. I agree the best thing (as with the mmr jab) is to just get as many vaccinated as possible. I just hope whipping everyone up into a panicked frenzy before putting proper organised plans into motion wasn't part of the 'spreading awareness' plan but then again if gps only found out last night it was bound to get into the press today before they've had a chance to find out anything themselves. I think there needs to be some reassurance follow up. I'm sure most gps and midwives are as in the know about the ins and outs as us.

Clarella Fri 28-Sep-12 15:21:07

My point about the mmr jab was that inaccurate information blown out of proportion by the press probably led to more issues as children were not vaccinated and had led to recent measles outbreaks which have in.some areas been pretty serious.

Rowanhart Fri 28-Sep-12 18:25:36

So now worried about whether will get vaccine foster watching horrible footage of little baby struggling to breathe.

I'm 33+3 and am tearing up at the footage. Damn you evening news...

kate2boysandabump Fri 28-Sep-12 18:31:39

I have news regarding the whooping cough vaccination. DH is a pharmacist he's had his e-mail from his PCT. Basically it says that all pregnant women between 28 and 32 weeks pregnant from now on will be offered the jab routinely at ante-natal appointments. Those who are past 32 weeks NOW will be offered it as well and those that are passed 38 weeks will be offered it at the onset of labour. The vaccine being offered is the 4 in 1 that babies get as part of their routine immunisations. Hopefully everyone should be called routinely, obviously that's from one PCT, but the advice regarding labour etc is nationwide.

whatsonyourplate Fri 28-Sep-12 18:46:57

Sidge it is the Repevax vaccine according to this fact sheet Fact sheet

Thanks Kate! What pct is that in?

DebussyHead Fri 28-Sep-12 19:37:02

I called surgery again this afternoon and she said again they knew nothing and it would be midwife who did it. She then said she would speak to PCT and I was to ring back. When I did this she said they had told her that surgeries would only receive LETTERS explaining what process would be on Monday and not vaccines. Hence why she knew nothing as letters only going out today AFTER news has broken on BBC. Total fuck up.

I'll call back Monday and hopefully they will know their arse from their elbow by them (sorry know it's not their fault blush) and prioritise women close to 38 weeks who have days or weeks left in terms of a 'window' to get this sorted. Am angry about government cock up!!

steben Fri 28-Sep-12 19:58:24

I am horrendously concerned about this - I am supposed to be having the flu jab thursday when I will be 37.5 weeks and have a section booked in 3 weeks - already have one at nursery who picks up everything and a DH who is constantly ill over winter sad am so angry that we don't know when or if we will be offered it angry

elizaregina Fri 28-Sep-12 20:57:42

anyone who is angry simply write to your mp - and also the bbc so they know you cant get it yet and no one knows about it.

why let them get away with it?

they have put us between a rock and a hard place and caused needless panic

Sidge Fri 28-Sep-12 22:27:32

whatsonyourplate that would make sense as Repevax is the preschool booster - the babies get Pediacel and pregnant women don't really need the Hib that's in Pediacel.

I left work at 1800 and we hadn't received any emails or notifications hmm

We are only allocated vaccine supplies based on our baby/child populations so no 'spare' vaccine for pregnant women, so I can't just give it to women booking in asking for it. Whether the community midwives will be receiving supplies to give I don't know, but most community midwives work in many locations so have nowhere to store and transport the vaccines.

CandyPop Fri 28-Sep-12 23:28:57

Sorry couple of questions that I can't find answer to and don't want to wait to Monday for the answer

- so do we believe in what the dept health is saying and that it's harmless to unborn babies ?

- also if unborn baby can get immunised via placenta and there is no danger to it, then why do babies have to wait two months after they r born before they can have vaccination directly?


Brycie Sat 29-Sep-12 00:21:09

Candy, I don't know the answer to your second quesetion, the answer to your first is, it's up to people what to beilieve of course, but no studies have been done in this field. You can read what the manufacturer says about Repevax ; which is that it's not recommended for pregnant women and the effects on the foetus have not been assessed. Beyond that, no one knows, it's educated assumptions, for example. In France this is not used as a "vaccine for pregnant women", it's apparently used as a routine adult booster (we're told) same as in Germany, the govt says this means it will have been given inadvertently to pregnant women, and that there've been no ill effects. Its not proved one way or the other, it's up to you what to believe, and to look at the people who are saying it's safe (for exampel the committee that approves all these things etc) and make your decision. It hasn't been tested for safety or effectiveness, however, it's widely assumed by all the experts to be very safe for pregnant women and also the government says that al lthe ingredients have been used in other medicines for pregnant women and have a long safety history.

Brycie Sat 29-Sep-12 00:23:22

There is a genuine belief out there among all the experts that the whooping cough outbreak is so serious that they are over-riding a recommendation for this not to be given to pregnant women. It makes you realise how serious the outbreak must be.

AlisonDB Sat 29-Sep-12 03:33:56

I live over in The Netherlands, so we are not being offered it (yet) im 28wks but we will have lots of Family visiting us from the UK, once baby is born,
Im now looking at making an appointment with my GP to ask if i can pay for this vaccine privatly, as i cant stand the thought of my baby getting WC. (probably going to demand it actually)
countries like France, Germany & USA already vaccine routinly against this so i dont think there is a negative risk with the vaccine.
Like a lot of you, im a '70's baby, and my mum refused to have me imunised, i ended up with WC as a toddler and was very very ill with it,

candy it's not the vaccine that crosses the placenta, it's the antibodies the pregnant woman makes in response to it - that's why you need to have it before 38w.

LoopyLa Sat 29-Sep-12 08:40:04

I phoned up my GP after seeing the news (I'm 36 wks tomorrow) & also asked about flu jab. Interestingly, they had whooping available but not the flu jab as it won't be in for a few weeks confused I thought it was supposed to be available from Sept?

What really annoys me is that no-one has suggested I have the flu jab & when talking to the GP, he said that my MW should administer it. When I asked her, she said a GP should be able to administer it.

If the so-called health professionals don't know what they're doing between them, how the hell are pregnant women without any medical training supposed to have a clue?! shock angry

Basically if no-one has mentioned it, then I'd ask. You won't get anything otherwise.

cordiality Sat 29-Sep-12 08:46:57

I think that the thing, as with all vaccination decisions, is no one can say 100% that the vaccine is safe for unborn babies, but they believe the situation is serious enough that it's worth the possible risk.

What we do know is that NOT having the vaccine is sadly not safe, we have the proof of many very ill babies.

I for one will be banging on my GP's door first thing monday morning. We are being offered an opportunity to possibly protect our newborns against a horrible and potentially fatal epidemic. Other mums haven't been so lucky. Not such a hard decision really...

blonderthanred Sat 29-Sep-12 08:57:54

Thank you for the fact sheet Whatson, that's really helpful.

Clarella Sat 29-Sep-12 09:00:06

I may be a little naive here but most coughs / colds we have caught will be generating antibodies which can be passed on to baby in utero? I know there's different antibodies, IgM and IgG, one first response, one a longer term immunity as we are immune to rubella through infection or jab (and this is where my understanding runs out) so in some ways is it not safer to have the jab while baby is in utero (the jab is for us) for us to pass on confirmed recent immunity? The issue is that babies usually get the jab at 2 months, and its prob not great to give it to a newborn - so this was the best option?

(Prays someone with more than hazy rudimentary 1995 a level biology comes along quick to help out here....)

MoonHare Sat 29-Sep-12 17:56:13

I emailed my MP yesterday to complain about the miscommunication between Dept. of Health/Media/front line health services and received a letter from my MP's office in the post this morning - I was not expecting that!

So if this issue is affecting you and you feel angry/disappointed/concerned that a national public announcement has been made by the Government without front line health services first being advised and offered guidance on how to implement a program of imunisation for pregnant women - then please contact your MP.

BTW the response I received at this stage is that my MP has written to the CX of our local NHS services and written to Anna Soubry who is the under secretary of state for health to ask for answers to the concerns I raised.

ShellyBobbs Sat 29-Sep-12 19:16:01

I've just emailed my MP, will see what he has to say.

DebussyHead Mon 01-Oct-12 10:53:54

Anyone had any luck with GP's/ midiwives knowing what the hell is going on today? I assume they will have seen news at least since Friday so the enquiries wont be a surprise. I am planning on ringing my GP this afternoon hoping they have information from the PCT by then and a plan so I know when and where I can expect to get the vaccine from.

MammaMia73 Mon 01-Oct-12 11:12:25

Yes, I will ask my midwife too about it, in week 23 so will see her soon.
Are you taking the seasonal flu jab? Is the swine flu jab included in that one? I have been a little bit "scared" of the swine flu vaccine so dont really want to take it unless i have to...

ValiumQueen Mon 01-Oct-12 11:13:02

I have been told today that the vaccine will not be available in Scotland until 15th Oct. I am fuming as that will be too late for me. Why is it different in Scotland?

mama this year's flu jab includes swine and avian flu vaccines. You can google it and see it on the nhs website smile

steben Mon 01-Oct-12 11:23:28

Well I have spoken to practice nurse and midwives and no one knows what is happening or can provide a straight answer - am waiting for a call from the gp but it won't be until late this aft. Fuming as if I don't have it this week I can't have it.

DebussyHead Mon 01-Oct-12 11:24:04

I'm in Scotland too VQ that is unbelievable!!! I will be 37 weeks on 15th OCt so could still just squeeze it in but still its ridiculous how this has been handled.

I'll call my GP and let you know what they say to me.
I think I will get the flu vaccinatation. I declined it with my DD1 as it was the swine flu one and felt it wasnt tested properly but its been used for a while now and really dont want flu with a new born.

DonnaDoon Mon 01-Oct-12 11:54:50

Ive just been to GP and they still have received NOTHING in the form of an email or notification or jabs ...thats right NOTHING. Emailing local MP now.

DonnaDoon Mon 01-Oct-12 12:04:58

URRRGHHHH Just spoke to my local MPs private secretary and she was really snotty and basically asked what I wanted my local MP to do about it as he doesnt usually deal with things like this...Im fuming...anyway Ive told them that I will attend a workshop of his on Friday.

ValiumQueen Mon 01-Oct-12 12:19:06

Spoke to a public health advisor in Scotland. Hoping to roll out from 14th or 15th Oct. Unsure what the plan is for England. There is a lot of organising that has to be done before it can be rolled out, which is understandable, but I asked what would be done for those mums for which that date is too late. It will be offered post delivery, this offering some protection to the baby by protecting the mum. Not good enough IMO, but better than nothing. The optimum time of having the vaccine is around 34 weeks apparently.

I would be interested if the dates in England are any earlier.

DonnaDoon Mon 01-Oct-12 12:34:00

Thanks VQ I will keep you posted and yes Im in England (The Midlands). It is worrying that a boy in DDs class' 5 month old baby sister has just been hospitalized with whooping cough sad

ValiumQueen Mon 01-Oct-12 12:39:17

donna oh dear. I wonder if she had the vaccine? No vaccine is 100% reliable unfortunately. Good to have a contact south of the border to compare notes with.

I remember as a student nurse caring for babies with whooping cough. It never bothered me as I was a hard bitch and just got on with what needed doing. It is very different once that child is your own. I actually looked after the son of a pop star (early 90s) who had it. I get goose pimples just thinking how close I was standing to him! (drools)

ValiumQueen Mon 01-Oct-12 13:02:55

Oops! Thought I was answering another thread. I am no longer a bitch! Honest!

Just spoke to Public Health again. It seems an email has just been sent to GPs in Scotland to say they can do opportunistic vaccination, i.e. if I turn up at surgery asking for it and not being able to wait for the programme to start officially, I can be given it. I will put that to the test tomorrow and report back.

nenehooo Mon 01-Oct-12 13:10:21

I've been reading this thread with interest - I didn't see the news but my mum mentioned it and then good old mn gives the full story! Called my gp this morning - they had literally just had all the paperwork in when I rang at 11 but said I'd have to call back on thurs as it would take a few days to set up. I have a mw appt thurs anyway so they said I'd prob get it there and then. Only trouble is, I'll be 38+1 so possibly too late? I'll have it anyway - my dh had a cough that lasted weeks a little while ago which is making us a bit worried... I shall be emailing my mp as soon as dh is off the computer. Oliver James was on the Wright Stuff this morning and on the topic of advertising, said something like "the media is raping us" harsh but I can see his point!

OctoberOctober Mon 01-Oct-12 14:37:05

Just had a message from MW saying to contact surgery re getting the vaccine as they know what they're doing now. So just called and the receptionist doesn't know when they're getting the vaccine in and will supposedly call back in an hour...

Feeling almost resigned to the fact that I'm not getting this vaccine any time soon.

I was at the doctor with ds this morning and asked about it, have an apt Friday morning for it smile

I'm 36 so hope it'll have time to take

36 weeks smile

cordiality Mon 01-Oct-12 14:50:29

I called my surgery in NW London today, the receptionist had no idea what I was talking about, but then I got a call back from the very helpful nurse practitioner. She has the vaccines and I have an appt to have it on Friday (I will be 37+5 then... cutting it fine!!!).

She says she got a letter on Friday, has stock of the vaccine, their big concern is that it's a combined vaccine with other things including tetanus. They have no guidelines on what do do if patients have already had the tetanus vaccine in the last 10 years. If you have, having another may make you ill. This obviously isn't ideal for pregnant women so she's not sure what they will do in those circumstances.

As a matter of interest, I also spoke to the midwives at my hospital (UCLH in central london) and they said that they will not start offering the vaccine until the end of October. It seems that it's going to take quite a while for everyone to be on the same page, very frustrating...

ThreeWheelsGood Mon 01-Oct-12 15:03:45

My GP surgery in SW London is getting the vaccine in next week, they're unsure when, so they've booked me in for next Fri (when I'll be 37+5 eep!). Just hope they definitely get it in by then, and that baby doesn't arrive early!

DebussyHead Mon 01-Oct-12 15:13:30

Just rang my surgery again - they now say they are getting the vaccines in on Thursday 4th and to ring back then. I explained I was 35 weeks I could I not just make an appointment now for Friday and she rather huffily agreed but said I must ring on Thursday to make sure they had actually arrived! But good news is have appointment for Friday and hopefully an available vaccine.

VQ I'm in Glasgow by the way so this seems to contradict whoever told you it wouldnt be available in Scotland until 15th Oct. Guess it probably varies by PCT but so weird how it varies all over.

PeshwariNaan Mon 01-Oct-12 15:20:20

My midwife hadn't heard anything about this when I saw her today. She said she'd talk to the GPs. Thankfully I have a while to go before I hit 32 weeks.

ValiumQueen Mon 01-Oct-12 15:48:23

debussy I noticed that. Nothing suprises me with the NHS I am afraid grin. Good luck for Friday!

YellowWellies Mon 01-Oct-12 17:10:06

Thanks for all of the leg work on this issue ladies. NHS Orkney has no idea about this - not even heard there is an outbreak south. (facepalm) so I'm going to be nagging my MW and bringing the Dept of Health guidance along with me when I go to my 34 week appointment this week (am actually only 33 weeks so fingers crossed there is time for the jags to reach the windy rock!). My first and only complaint so far with Orkney antenatal care.

ThreeWheelsGood Mon 01-Oct-12 17:38:35

Thanks for the heads-up cordality - I've had the quad jab incl tetanus 6 years ago. Just read on the NHS website that the whooping cough jab is not a single vaccine but part of this quad jab, as you say.

Called the GP practice, they said I should check with the nurse on the day of my jab to see what she advises. Great. At least I'll be getting the flu jab on the same day anyway!

SecretCermonials Mon 01-Oct-12 17:50:58

Just letting you all know my experience... Im in the south and called my GP today after my MW didnt bother to return my call as per usual, surgery were very goo and booked me in for the jab in two weeks along with a flu jab

SecretCermonials Mon 01-Oct-12 17:52:15

(Will be 28+ 3 when i get jab)

I've just had it. I'm 39+3. I rang the nurse today and said I'd like it so even if there was no time for the baby to get it, I'd have some protection in my breastmilk. She said what a good idea, I'm looking at some of the jab now - can you come straight in? And Bob's your uncle.

Besides, as she pointed out - a 38 weeks pregnant woman could have her baby a week early, and on the other hand, I might be two weeks late...

ValiumQueen Mon 01-Oct-12 18:23:58

longtalljosie show off grin. Seriously though, pleased for you. Encouraging some practices are using their common sense!


I am very impressed with them, I have to say

Clarella Mon 01-Oct-12 18:38:07

Called my practice and was put through to the travel vaccination clinic hmm all she knew was that they'd been told nurse practitioners would be doing them rather than midwives (newcastle city) but I'm not sure if its just my docs. She said they'd had no indication of when vaccinations were coming in either. I'm not having a 34 wk appt cos I've got an appt at the hospital same day (32 today) so was wondering whether to book a separate appt. However I'm seeing nurse practitioner for a blood test on thurs and the receptionist kindly said she'd pass on my query. They're doing 2 flu drop in clinics over the next week or so, so I questioned if they'd add it to that. Will let people know if hear back from nurse.

MoonHare Mon 01-Oct-12 20:01:15

I posted on Sat to say I'd emailed my MP and had a response.

Today I went in to see the nurse I spoke to on Fri at my surgery for my routine flu jab (which she had brought forward from 13th Oct for me following my call to her about the whooping cough jab). She told me the surgery had been contacted as a result of my approach to the MP.

She offered me the whooping cough jab then and there and I've had it as well as my flu jab!!!

As stated on BBC news the vaccine they're using is the same as the pre-school booster, which my 3 yr old had last May. She was fine after and had no ill effects and I don't expect any. I asked about the tetanus content as I had a tetanus jab about 6 or 7 years ago, the nurse said there would be no problem except maybe more of a reaction in my arm around the site of the jab.

All surgeries should already have stocks of pre-school boosters since, as I understand it, they administer them to rising 4s all year round. My practice nurse said that the guidance they've had states women can be administered the vaccine on request i.e. there's no need for the surgery to wait for the offical 'paperwork' to arrive as long as you have made the request yourself.

Best wishes to all in getting this sorted and my advice is (especially for those women approaching 38 wks) contact your MP.

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 09:01:08

Phoned the surgery (Scotland) this morning. Told by receptionist nothing has been arranged.

Spoke with Practice Manager who told me the same 15th at earliest.

Told her what Public Health said. She blames pharmacies.

I said 'you have stock'. She replies 'Would you rather you had it than a child?' Well, yes actually, as the child would be pre-school and would have had a vaccine already, whereas my child will be a newborn with no defences. Muppet!

She has taken my name and number and will call me back, but says she does not have clinic space to give it anyway.

I said I would be fighting this all the way. I am fighting for my unborn child, which she understands.

I will call again tomorrow, and if no date given, I will be going to see her myself.


elizaregina Tue 02-Oct-12 10:37:40

can men get the whooping cough vaccine privalty or elsewhere as added protection to the baby?

blonderthanred Tue 02-Oct-12 10:51:07

That is a terrible thing for the Practice Manager to say VQ. Who does she think you're getting the vaccine for if not a child? It sounds like she has no idea why pg women are being told to have this jab.

Good grief Valium! What a stupid thing for her to say!

Why does she blame pharmacies?

ShellyBobbs Tue 02-Oct-12 11:00:19

Finally got through to my surgery who gave the 'what me guv, I know nowt guv, we've been told nowt guv'! Well that's wasn't what the boss at my local PCT advised me when I phone her to report them. All surgeries were advised yesterday that they could offer jabs IMMEDIATELY to women who were near 38 weeks and to start taking appointments. Furthermore she advised that the stocks were plenty available and delivery of orders was extremely quick so there should be absolutely no problem at all.

I'm seeing my midwife at the surgery on Thursday so will see what they say then, I'll speak to the practice manager and ask her to ring this lady whilst I'm there if she lies to my face (or I'll ring her in front of the manager, either way).

ShellyBobbs Tue 02-Oct-12 11:02:50

I'm in Tameside by the way.

She also told me that the antibodies take a full 2 weeks to fully protect baby and that there is absolutely no problem with times inbetween the flu and whooping cough vaccinations - doing them together is fine.

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 11:37:44

Very true blonder

longtalljosie she said the pharmacy was unaware of the situation, and would not be willing to deliver supplies until 15th. As usual, blaming everyone else. I suggested she give the Public Health Number to the pharmacy, and she said she felt it was up to the public health department to call them. Ffs!

Anyhoo, just been to see the extremely hot charming young man at the local MP office, and they are gonna get on the case. His wife (lucky woman!) is pregnant too, so I know he will take this seriously. <<ponders what else I can complain about>>

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 11:38:34

shelly I wish I were nearer. I would bring pop corn and a soft chair grin

ShellyBobbs Tue 02-Oct-12 11:44:26

Hehehe, I'll take someone with me and tape it grin

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 11:48:31

Appointment for whooping cough 2.10pm this very day grin. The lovely practice manager just called me to say grin

Good luck everyone!

ShellyBobbs Tue 02-Oct-12 11:58:54

Hmmmmm, funny that VQ

whatsonyourplate Tue 02-Oct-12 12:17:12

After a little bit of mithering (and the receptionist telling me you had to have the vaccine before 27 weeks, err I don't think so!) I've just been given an appointment for 4pm today for whooping cough and flu vaccines. I'm 38 weeks today. It's a small semi-rural practice so if they can manage it I'm sure other practices should be able to.

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 12:21:36

Good news whatsonyourplate hopefully junior will stay put until due date.

blonderthanred Tue 02-Oct-12 12:24:00

Good for you VQ! Well done.

That's useful info Shelly about having the flu vaccine at the same time.

On a slight tangent does anyone know if it's inadvisable to have a jab if you've come down with a stupid stinking cold (on the first day of my maternity leave, grr)?

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 12:26:22

blonder usually they recommend waiting a bit, but it depends on what the jab is and the urgency. I would discuss it with the nurse who is going to give it. Hope you soon feel better x

blonderthanred Tue 02-Oct-12 12:32:54

Thanks VQ. It's just annoying more than anything else, I wanted to be getting on with fun baby stuff not curled up drinking tea - nice though that would be normally.

I'll ring the GP once I stop sounding like a 13-yr-old boy mid-voice break!

Goldrill Tue 02-Oct-12 12:34:29

Crikey - north cumbria has caught up with the rest of the world for once! Just called my doctors and am booked in for Thursday - will be 39 weeks but as DD was 2 weeks late I'm not overly worried!

Thanks for the thread, ladies - after being told last week it wasn't going to happen, I would almost certainly have forgotton about it, or not got around to being pushy if it hadn't been on here.

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 12:50:44

blonder I broke my leg just after starting mat leave! At least a germ will be gone quicker! smile

Good news gold and good luck with the birth!

steben Tue 02-Oct-12 13:10:19

I am getting angrier by the minute - spoke to doctor this morning who knew nothing about it! Asked me "where I had heard about it" I was quoting the DoH information back at him! Anyway he said not to worry and he would read up on it - have not heard so after speaking to a friend of mine who had it yesterday I rang back and spoke to receptionists who had heard about it and said it would be in imminently but could tell me no more - FFs!!!

hufflepuffle Tue 02-Oct-12 13:31:38

Just had mine at 38+2. Hoping timing just about ok as first baby and suppose likely late!! If early, not quite sure what story will be but assume more will be known by then. I did call yesterday, they were unsure what happening. Called again today and booked me right in.I Did not ask too many questions, just happy to get. Did flu jab at same time.

I am Northern Ireland btw, and the stats are just too frightening to hesitate. 15 cases last yr vs 192 in same period this yr.

MoonHare Tue 02-Oct-12 13:32:11

Email your MP steben it's amazing how quickly things get sorted out if you make a fuss!!

I have never been one for putting myself forward or complaining but having decided to be proactive on behalf of my baby I was astonished at how easy it was and how nice everyone was to me (to my face anyway...!).

If we all complain and contact our MPs they might learn lessons for the next time something like this happens, or perhaps not....

elizaregina Tue 02-Oct-12 13:44:38

anyone know if men can get it?

surely if Dh can be done too - it provides even more help to baby?

lots of people on here said their DP/DH had WC

blonderthanred Tue 02-Oct-12 14:00:59

Well the GP receptionist knew nothing about the jab when I first called but has just called me back and booked me in for Thursday at 12.45pm for both wh cough and flu jabs. My consultant appt at the hospital will be straight after so it will be a medical day for me!

sittinginthesun Tue 02-Oct-12 14:21:54

Hi. A relative of mine is expecting her first baby. She was 38 weeks yesterday - phone the surgery this morning and was told the doctors hadn't made a decision yet, and would know by the end of the week.

Sounds like waffle to me - is there any decision to be made? She's a very gentle, non confrontational kind of person, but I'd hate her to miss out.

OctoberOctober Tue 02-Oct-12 15:09:27

Just spoke to doctors and they're supposedly not getting stocks in until end of the week and have told me that I will be able to get it next mon at my MW appt. however, I will be 39 +3 by that point so even if I haven't popped by then there is not much chance of building immunity to pass on. Don't know what else to do though if they're claiming not to actually have the vaccine though?

milli2512 Tue 02-Oct-12 15:20:03

Feeling really pissed off with my surgery. I was 38wks on Sunday so rang the surgery yesterday morning to try and find out if the doctors thought it would still be worth me having it. The receptionist said she'd check and come back to me. By mid afternoon I hadn't heard anything so called back and she was really off with me - 'I said I'd come back to you didn't I'! Yes you did, but is that today, tomorrow, next week?? Still haven't heard anything. Just spoken to MW who thinks surgeries in my area haven't yet got the vaccine. A phone call just to update me either way surely isn't too much to ask. I don't think after all the stuff in the media about the increase in whooping cough and seeing footage of that poor baby with it that I am being unreasonable in wanting some advice from my doctor!! Grrrrrr angry

Cuntzilla Tue 02-Oct-12 15:22:49

My DS caught wh cough when he was 4 weeks old (we think from DH) GP’s didn’t think it was anything serious as between coughs he was ok (wish I’d trusted my instincts that something was really wrong but was first time mum). At 6 weeks he had a particularly bad coughing episode and briefly stopped breathing, we got an ambulance in to hospital & spent the next week there with strong IV antibiotics & additional oxygen after each cough. I spent the next 8 months watching him like a hawk as I had to make sure he sat upright so he didn’t choke with the cough. It was a really terrifying time, I couldn’t do the hoovering because I was scared I wouldn’t hear him cough and the worst would happen sad I was up every 10 minutes at night to sit him up in his crib after a cough, don't know how I did it.
He is a happy healthy 22 month old now but I feel like I didn’t get to enjoy most of the first year of his life.
If I was pregnant again now I’d have this immunisation in a heartbeat, I’m getting upset with the thought of anyone having to go through this with their children, please have the immunisation if it is available to you.

Cuntzilla Tue 02-Oct-12 15:24:18

Forgot to say that we also couldn’t start the normal first lot of baby jabs you normally get at 8 weeks until 9 months when the cough was gone.

milli2512 Tue 02-Oct-12 15:45:31

Just phoned surgery again and they are F'ing bloody useless. Basically said they don't know, and I could probably find out more on the internet. I said I had looked on the net and knew other women past 38wks were being offered the jab. She said 'I'm a not a doctor just a receptionist', good god give me strength. The whole point of my call yesterday and her supposedly 'coming back to me' was to find out from a bloody doctor. So, now she's booked me in for a phone call from the doctor tomorrow. Why the fuck she couldn't have done that yesterday I don't know. Sorry, not a helpful post but needed to rant!!

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 16:01:05

Thank you cuntzilla for sharing. That must have been dreadful for you all. So glad he is ok now.

The surgeries will already have supplies, and have been authorised to give it now to mums if they are at the tail end of their pregnancy. The jab is the same as they give to pre-school kids. I would urge you not to be patient and wait. Every day you have to process it will improve the chances of you passing antibodies to your baby. A pre-school kid can wait a few weeks, you cannot.

Ask to discuss with an actual doctor. You may need to speak to the practice manager or nurse first, and if no luck, speak to a doctor.

You can ask to speak to someone from the Public Health department.

You can ask your GP to act on your behalf.

I have asked MN if they can put pressure on in some way. Perhaps if others asked MNHQ it might help? I have not heard back yet.

You can call the local or national press.

It was the doctor who gave me the jab today. It does not have to be a nurse, or health visitor or midwife. The GPs have all been contacted to be told they can give it opportunistically on maternal request. They do not need to wait for official paperwork.

Dads will hopefully be offered it if the baby is born without adequate protection, so new mums and dads should IMO be asking for it now.

Please do not be fobbed off. If I can get it in rural Scotland, you can get it too.

DebussyHead Tue 02-Oct-12 16:07:51

You are not going to believe this. Am F***ing raging. So eventually got an appotinement for WC vaccine for this Friday as they said vaccines should be in on Thursday. I was reading this thread to see how everyone else was getting on esp Valium who is also in Scotland and was delighted to see Valium that your MP visit resulted in a vaccine today. It made me think I should book my flu vaccine for the same appointment. So I called my surgery this afternoon to say 'i have WC jag appointment on fri can i arrange to get the flu jag in the same session' . Arsy receptionist demands to know who booked me in for WC vaccine on Friday, they should never have done this and that there was no guarantee it would be in on Thurs, that they received a letter today to say it would not be issued till 15th. Blatant lie as they told me yesterday it would be in on Thurs.

I told her i'd hear they could do them opporunisitically for women close to 38 weeks as it is same as the pre schooler vaccine.. she shouted (yes) at me 'we have no vaccine on the premises' and then said it 'wasn't their problem' that the media broke news too early. She told me I couldnt have flu jab at same time as WC anyway as the WC vaccine contained the flu vaccine which is bullshit. Clearly doesnt know what she is talking about.

So I said I was coming on Friday anyway and she said I would be wasting my time. Unf***ing believable. Am so upset and angry I am in tears.

MoonHare is there any way you could share the email you wrote to your MP so I could copy bits of it. Feel so upset and all over the place dont think i can write cohesively with the right facts! Why would a GP receptionist speak to a clearly distraught heavily pregnant woman so harshly and with no empathy or help or understanding. She clearly only cares about their workload. Oh and she actually said 'Just get it post natally'...er well it wont work then will it !!. angry

Sorry for mega long rant.

so please for those of you who have something arranged at least some practices have their act together and their patients unborn needs at heart.

DebussyHead Tue 02-Oct-12 16:21:39

Valium you say 'GPs have all been contacted to be told they can give it opportunistically on maternal request. They do not need to wait for official paperwork.' which is what I thought but then they are telling me they have no vaccines on the premises not even for preschoolers and I know they are probably lying but dont know how to respond to that. I'm going to go armed with all the helpful facts you and others have sourced on Friday.

Im off to research who my local MP is...

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 16:28:10

On debussy I am so sorry you have had this. She has no right to speak to you like that. She has no right to comment on things she clearly knows fuck all about. She has no right, and I would encourage you to consider putting a complaint down in writing if it would help get it off your chest.

I was given a leaflet that is hot off the press from NHS Scotland. I will ask my husband to scan it and I could email it to you if you want, so you could take it with you. My doctor said it came through today. I have yet to read it fully.

I am sure doctor receptionists go to special classes to learn how to be mean to people.

DebussyHead Tue 02-Oct-12 16:33:01

Thanks so much Valium that would be really helpful to get the leaflet, I want to go armed with info!

Zara1984 Tue 02-Oct-12 16:35:53

Just adding a quick note to those that live in the Republic of Ireland (like me) and are wondering whether the health authorities are going to make the same recommendations here.

I called my Domino team at the maternity hospital (Dublin's Rotunda) and was told by the mw the hospital is having a meeting/making a decision tomorrow about whether they're going to follow the UK recommendations.

I was not vaccinated against whooping cough (my mum bought the "it causes brain damage" populist line hmm back in the 80s) so I that's why I'm actively chasing up about it. Am nearly 37 weeks.

blonderthanred Tue 02-Oct-12 16:37:34

It is so appalling that this issue has been dealt with so badly. The GPs and receptionists should of course never speak so rudely to patients (pregnant or not) but they have also clearly been treated badly and not kept informed of what is going on.

I haven't even seen anything in the news since that first day, it's only on MN we seem to have an exchange of information. There has clearly been a serious fuckup and there should be a bloody outcry. I might write to my MP anyway, even though I've now got an appt.

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 16:38:19

You can access it via the Internet.

www.immunisationscotland.org.uk Search for whooping cough, and it is the first thing that comes up. It was published 4 days ago, and is called Whooping Cough help protect your baby, and has a picture of a pregnant lady on it. Sorry I cannot do a direct link.

I am guessing there would be a similar one for south of the border.

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 16:39:16

Actually it now shows a direct link on the above page if you scroll down a bit.

ArthurPewty Tue 02-Oct-12 16:40:19

"my mum bought the "it causes brain damage" populist line back in the 80s"

You ought to be glad she did. Whole cell pertussis vaccine was responsible for a lot of brain damage "back in the 80s" - that's why it was replaced with "safer" acellular pertussis vaccine. Which isnt as effective.

DebussyHead Tue 02-Oct-12 16:43:30

Thanks Valium that is very helpful.

Sidge Tue 02-Oct-12 16:55:48

We did have to wait for paperwork directives from the DoH to clarify who we are to give the vaccine to, from what stock and how it is to be funded.

We also had to have drawn up a PSD (Patient Specific Direction) which acts as a "group prescription". Vaccines are prescription only medicines and so we can't just give them to patients, we have to have them prescribed. When we give vaccines regularly to certain groups of patients (such as flu jabs, baby imms etc) instead of generating hundreds of prescriptions we work from a PSD (or a PGD; Patient Group Directions) so that we can give prescription medication to groups of patients.

Where I work, we received the directives from the DoH yesterday and had the PSD today so could start offering the vaccine today.

Luckily we have enough spare vaccine for our pregnant ladies as well as children this week. Bear in mind that many surgeries don't have excess vaccine available (lack of storage space and preordering means that often practices will only order what they need on a week by week basis). They may be awaiting supplies.

Having said all that there is no need for surgery staff to be rude but do remember that those of us giving the vaccine often don't know much more about what's going on! Debussy that receptionist was clueless and you should take that to the practice manager.

Oh and flu vaccine can be given at the same time as Repevax (the diphtheria/tetanus/polio/pertussis vaccine that pregnant women are to receive)

If you do write to your MP blonder I would make this point. It's one thing to send a press release out to journalists but the bulletin to surgeries should go out at exactly the same time. I understand they use a cascading system - via the RCN and the BMA. If this can't be cascaded faster they should consider sending information direct to surgeries.

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 16:57:46

Happy to help. I wish you luck. Try not to stress too much though. You can tackle it tomorrow, hopefully having slept, and armed with a hot-off-the-press document to back you up.

It is hard enough being this late on in the pregnancy without this to cope with thanks

MrsPear Tue 02-Oct-12 17:03:35

Well i telephoned my surgery today and no one knows nothing. (London - Bromley) I have been told to try again tomorrow as the nurse who deals with vaccination may have heard something! I have just e-mailed the two links from the department of health as some help to them. BTW it is a large practice with over 4000 patients.

I am 27 weeks which in a normal pregnancy would be fine but i am having steriods next week as their is a high chance i will have the baby early despite a stitch and medication.

MoonHare Tue 02-Oct-12 17:21:38

Hi all

Happy to share what I emailed to my MP.

I strongly urge you all to email your MP - just google MPs for whichever county you live in as each county council has a section on its website that gives all their details.

I'm incensed at the misinformation that's out there and how many women are being fobbed off.


I am a constituent of yours and reside at (your address, they won't respond unless you give them your address and home tel. ).

I am writing to complain about the mishandling of the Government's decision to offer the whooping cough vaccination to pregnant women.

You'll have to add your own story in here but this is what I said:

^I heard a news item this morning on the Today programme on Radio 4 where they stated that the Government is advising pregnant women between 28-38 weeks of gestation to take up the vaccination against whooping cough. It was explained that cases of whooping cough have risen considerably in recent months (in fact I have a local friend who was diagnosed with whooping cough in June this year) and 10 babies under 2 months old have died as a result of contracting whooping cough before their standard immunisation at 8 weeks old. The news item stated the vaccination would take the form of the 'pre-school booster' currently offered to 3 and 4 year olds in the year before starting primary school and that it would be available from Monday 1st October.

This was the first I had heard of this having received no information prior to this from either my midwife or my GP.

I am 37 weeks pregnant (EDD 20th October) and therefore have just one week in which to receive the vaccination and ensure maximum opportunity for immunity to pass from me to my unborn baby.

I rang my GP surgery (name and address of your surgery) first thing this morning. The receptionist knew nothing about it. The practice nurse rang me back at 10.30am this morning. She had seen an item on the local news but knew nothing else. She advised that they are not permitted to vaccinate patients without certain paperwork, which they have not had. The possibility of offering the vaccination to pregnant women has not been discussed in the surgery and she had no idea whose responsibility it might be to sort this out.^

I am very angry that the Dept. of Health has released information to the media without first contacting front-line health services to advise of the immunisation program and offering guidance on how it should be administered. As a responsible parent I am very concerned that if there is a way of protecting my baby from a potentially fatal disease I should be able to take it up. The Government is raising anxiety among expectant mothers without having put any system in place to deal with the consequences of women seeking to take up a vaccination that does not appear to be available yet.

There were similar issues of information/misinformation 2 years ago when pregnant women were offered the flu vaccination for the first time. I was pregnant then too and had to fight to receive the vaccination as my GP surgery had run out of the vaccine. Have no lessons been learnt?

I would like an explanation as to how this situation has arisen and a guarantee that as our MP you will be doing all you can to ensure the lives of babies in your constituency are protected. What a horrendous situation it would be if a baby died locally because the vaccine was not made available to its mother even though the Government had made a national public announcement that it would be.

Yours sincerely

Feel free to use bits/change bits. Had I had a bit more time and been less angry I probably would have worded parts of my email better.

Good luck everyone with receiving the vaccine in time.

steben Tue 02-Oct-12 17:36:40

Have e mailed MP!

Quick update - after no joy from doc I rang surgery again and asked if I could speak to practice nurse who will be giving me flu jab this week - was asked why and explained and was told well you need to speak to a doc. I explained (remarkably patiently I thought given the circumstances) that I had and he hasn't got a clue. Anyway told me to ring back and speak to practice manager. Anyway whilst out doc rang back and spoke to DH - he said having looked into it it certainly was something I should have angry and he would look into it further and contact me again tomorrow so here is hoping I finally get an answer of some kind tomorrow!!!

My GP surgery were clueless, someone is 'calling me back'
Is anyone else on the fence about this?
I am really worried about the vaccine affecting the baby as there is no proof yet that it does not. And to add polio, diptheria etc to the mix as well, I feel like I have been put in an impossible situation.

ValiumQueen Tue 02-Oct-12 18:12:50

farfalla I would rather regret following national guidance than choosing to ignore it and not vaccinate. If anything were to happen, I would never forgive myself for not having it. There are other countries who currently vaccinate, and it is given later in pregnancy when the baby is better able to cope with such things. I was pregnant when swine flu hit, and that was more of a dilemma than this, as it was a new strain.

AliceHurled Tue 02-Oct-12 18:37:41

Farfalla that's how I feel. I would feel equally bad if something happened if I did, or if something happened if I didn't. It is an impossible situation. FWIW I think
I am going to have it, although my appointment is post 40 weeks we shall see what happens in reality.

steben Tue 02-Oct-12 18:39:48

Yes farfalla I agree with previous poster - I too was pregnant when swine flu was going on and refused vaccine however am determined to have this.

ladymia Tue 02-Oct-12 18:49:44

i went for my 16 weeks appointment today and my midwife told me she will talk to me at my 25 week appointment about when to schedule the vaccine for. she seemed to know exactly what was going on which was good news.

elizaregina Tue 02-Oct-12 19:00:40


LOVE your email to your mp!!!esp

a guarantee that as our MP you will be doing all you can to ensure the lives of babies in your constituency are protected. What a horrendous situation it would be if a baby died locally because the vaccine was not made available to its mother even though the Government had made a national public announcement that it would be.

Bachie Tue 02-Oct-12 20:00:33

I had heard about the whopping cough guidance very briefly on the news. I had my 28wk midwife appointment today (in Bham) and midwife mentioned it to me but didn't seem to have many details. She just said it was advisable. I was told to speak to reception who put my name on a list and took my contact details. I don't know when I expect to hear from them. I noticed that my name was the only one on the list. I was not sure what to think before but having read all the discussions on here I think it seems wise to get the vaccination and I will be chasing the surgery if I don't hear from them soon. Has anyone who's had it in the last couple of days noticed any side effects?

Sidge Tue 02-Oct-12 20:12:43

Those of you who are less than 28 weeks do not need to have the vaccine yet. It's to be given from 28 weeks.

Vaccine stocks have to be prioritised for women currently 38+ weeks.

There is no evidence that the vaccine causes any harm. It's an inactivated vaccine and will cause your body to make antibodies which will then pass to the foetus; this takes a couple of weeks or so hence why the vaccine ideally is to be given before 38 weeks.

VaxWorry Wed 03-Oct-12 00:56:47

The vaccines used in the States, France and Germany contain tetanus and diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) toxoids, not polio, as the one used in the UK does. Polio vaccine (even inactivated) is NOT recommended during pregnancy.

I'm really worried the medical authorities are recommending it without sufficient research and based on a media frenzy.
I have my jab scheduled for tomorrow and can't sleep trying to decide whether to do it or not...

Clarella Wed 03-Oct-12 04:14:21

I don't believe its a media frenzy. Imo its been badly reported before anyone's had the chance to be organised but I've known theres a whooping cough issue for months - I was pointed to the HPA website by work (school nurse) during slapped cheek issues in May (also a mini 'flash year', it goes in cycles) and noticed it was on the increase, it was reported in Scotland locally earlier in the year and I heard it on r4 and world service reports from other parts of the world. I also know personally of adults who've been badly affected and had cases confirmed. I've taught for 11 years and never heard of either slapped cheek or whooping cough in school till this year!

From what I can tell from stats below its how it has blown up amongst adults that is the issue for new born babies. I think you have to do what you feel is right for you. personally I feel the risks of the illness in a newborn out weigh those of the vaccine. Remember its you that are having the jab which will generate antibodies to pass on to baby to offer protection.

latest stats

and here


Clarella Wed 03-Oct-12 04:21:04

That bottom link seems to give good info about the actual vaccination as well as the comparative risks of the disease.

monsterchild Wed 03-Oct-12 04:29:34

I had mine, flu and Dtap. Baby didn't want to take the risk of wh as I work with kids and Dh is a nurse so we could easily be exposed.

Clarella Wed 03-Oct-12 04:33:00

<<waves>> wide awake too monster?! smile

monsterchild Wed 03-Oct-12 04:39:29

Yep! Just looking for something to do

Oh good grief how has it been badly reported?!

The information you have received from the press has been accurate, swift and detailed.

The fact the DOH has sent out information to news outlets and hasn't kept GPs informed as quickly is the DOH's fault.

Having spoken to my own midwife's unit they talked to me about how information has to be "cascaded" from the relevant medical bodies (ie the DOH tells the BMA / RCN and then the body in question tells its members). Too slow. I think it's probably time, in an internet age, that it started sending out factsheets to surgery managers directly.

Clarella Wed 03-Oct-12 08:42:01

bad choice of words perhaps at 4 am :Badly only inasmuch as timing of reports, as you say, no one in the medical profession was prepared. It's not been a 'media frenzy' (which is what I was responding too - the mmr crap was a media frenzy) as only facts have been stated, the info was important and correct though not detailed enough to avoid worrying and puzzling those over 38 wks and led everyone to believe they could pop into the gp last Monday and get a jab. Very little has been said either via or in the press since. Not knowing what the press release process in this case is its hard to apportion blame but a little more clarity would have been helpful for those who've been very worried/ frustrated - as on this thread.

You give the press a story without an embargo - they print / broadcast it in a timely fashion. Anything else would be irresponsible - esp for those in the latter stages of pregnancy. The information process from the DOH to GPs isn't anything to do with them.

Clarella Wed 03-Oct-12 09:03:12

I'm essentially agreeing with you, just pointing out there's no media frenzy - its not an out of proportion news story as my links to the hpa show.

PeshwariNaan Wed 03-Oct-12 12:38:27

Update on my surgery in SE London.

I went for my flu jab today and the nurse was very keen to give me the pertussis jab ASAP. Since I'd read up on it I said I wanted to wait until 28 weeks or so (I'm 25). She was very nice and said to book in an appointment.

So I suppose word is getting out, at least around here. My midwife hadn't heard about it on Monday, though.

debbie1412 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:02:01

I have had a mission and a half getting this jab. How is it that my doctor / nurse or midwife team know nothing about it. It's a disgrace ! I was passed around from pillar to post this morning by either sides refusing to accept responsibility for giving these jabs out. Finally my doctors surgery relented and booked me in a week Thursday il be just under 38 weeks. Any advice I can give is don't be fobbed off.

debbie1412 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:08:19

Also as I'm pushing 38 weeks when i get whooping cough jab and delivered early will dc1. I'm right in thinking the anti bodies will go through my breast milk won't it????

ValiumQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 14:11:20

But debbie they are authorised to give it now on maternal request, and the sooner you get it the better at your stage. I personally would think they are fobbing you off with next Thursday, but it is your call.

Be warned. It stings, and I have a sore arm after having it yesterday.

peswari bit concerned she might have wanted to give it prior to 28 weeks, but good to know you will get it as soon as you need it.

ValiumQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 14:14:19

debbie in that case insist on it sooner. It does not go through breast milk unfortunately. It would offer baby some protection in as much as you ate protected, but nowt else. It needs two weeks at least to pass through placenta. Ideally we would have had this at 34 weeks. I urge you to get the big guns out. They will have stock as it is the pre-school jag. A doctor can give it. A doctor gave it, and flu jag to me yesterday. I am having a section in 3 weeks.

GrandPoohBah Wed 03-Oct-12 14:17:24

I had a very good experience with it all to be honest, but I think that's more to do with my GP than anything else.

I had my 31wk appointment today, I had my flu jab and asked about the WC inoculation. My GP said that they were having a meeting tomorrow to discuss and that I should call then, which I thought was fine. I left the surgery and about 20 mins later had a call from my GP who had done some digging, found out which nurse was administering them, confirmed that she had them in stock and then put me through to reception to make an appointment. So I'll be having it done on Tuesday morning. It seems that the info is getting there - it's just happening slowly.

Finbert Wed 03-Oct-12 14:24:24

I am just over 39 weeks but wanted the jabs anyway just incase the baby comes late and I can pass on the immunity.

Yesterday the midwife, docs, nurses and receptionists had no information other than that heard in the news (I was actually a lot more informed than them in knowing that it was the combined jab and the same as the one given to children). My surgery were amazing, I waited while they rand around and organised an emergency staff meeting and asked me to call the next afternoon (today).

This morning they rang me at 9.30am having managed to secure both the whooping cough and flu vaccines (neither if which they had in stock yesterday) and by half 10 my jabs were done. I cannot fault the staff at my surgery and they were so apologetic even though it was the fault of the government in their lack of info to the health professionals.

Fingers crossed my baby stays put for a little longer, but if not at least I know I have tried!

wkmmum Wed 03-Oct-12 14:30:18

Spoke to my midwife about this today. They're putting on extra clinics at my GPs on Saturdays and can also have it at the antenatal clinic at the hospital. As I'm having my flu jab tomorrow my GPs have said they're happy to give it to me at the same time. Was worried about feeling really rough having both at the same time but she said all the wc jab should do is give me a sore arm! xx

VaxWorry Wed 03-Oct-12 15:14:55

@Clarella - thank you, I decided to go ahead with it as my doctor was quite convincing arguing that it's the right thing to do. Hope I made the right decision.

AliceHurled Wed 03-Oct-12 15:42:33

Valium, how do you know it doesn't go through breast milk? I've been told it does. I'm 39 weeks tomorrow so it's pretty crucial for me it does. It's all so confused

Goldrill Wed 03-Oct-12 16:12:42

How does immunising pregnant women protect babies?
Antibodies produced in response to immunisation help the body to fight infections and reduce the severity of infections.
By immunising pregnant women against pertussis, the antibodies produced will cross the placenta to the foetus so that when the infant is born he/she already has antibodies against pertussis. This immunity is short-lived, diminishing over a few months. Therefore infants should still be immunised in accordance with the routine childhood immunisation schedule. Whilst breast-feeding is important for infants’ general health, it will not by itself prevent them becoming infected with pertussis (or other infections).

Alice the above is from the NHS factsheet linked to upthread. I'm 39 weeks tomorrow too, but am going to have it done as she may be late (the last one was)

ValiumQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 16:42:15

alice it says so in the information documents I linked to up thread. Plus what gold says. Have you had it? If so, then if baby is late, they will get antibodies hopefully. If not, then you being protected will protect them to an extent. There is no guarantee the vaccine will protect, and ideally we should have had it at 34 weeks. It is being offered to new mums too.

Finbert Wed 03-Oct-12 16:43:52

Just to add as wasn't thinking (please let me blame pregnancy brain blush ) I don't think that the 'government' in general are to blame I'm sure it was just a mistake on behalf of one or two or a complete accidental breakdown of communication. Really don't want to offend!

ValiumQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 16:55:37

It is an extremely emotive subject and ladies most interested are going to be heavily pregnant so dealing with hormones, anxiety, sleepless nights etc. it is going to evoke a very emotional response, and hopefully everyone understands that. We are prepared to fight for our babies as we have worked so hard to get this far. It is an instinct thing.

ValiumQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 16:58:38

I heard back from MNHQ and understandably they have lots of campaigns they are committed to. They suggested I consider starting a campaign in the appropriate section (did not know there was a campaign section) what do folk think? It seems that the message is getting through slowly, so is only a short delay hopefully for most. Also many of us have been to MPs etc.

I think the documents suggest breastfeeding's not as good as having the jab. But of course your pertussis antibodies will be in your breastmilk - just like all the others will be. They're not a special case.

emeraldgirl1 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:29:13

Am being totally irrational here but I think I'm (temporarily) allowed to be!!

Does anyone know precisely what the advised jab contains ie what does it immunise against? Is it ONLY WC or do they chuck in a few others as well?

And - a personal issue - I am absolutely terrifed of the idea that vaccinating while pg could damage my baby's sight in some way. DH is profoundly deaf and while we are comfortable (as we can be!) with the fact that our baby may be deaf too, I live in morbid terror of doing anything that could affect the baby's sight. DH relies TOTALLY on his eyes (lip-reading etc) and the thought that I could be doing anything that might offer even a 0.1% chance of sight damage is just not worth me taking the risk, not even the horrible awful risk of whooping cough (as statistically our baby has more of a chance of having a problem due to what we already know about our genetics rather than WC if you see what I mean).

I need to ask my MW about this but if anyone has any further info I'd really really appreciate it.

MoonHare Wed 03-Oct-12 17:30:30

Vallium I'd be very happy to get involved in a campaign pushing for better, more timely comminucation between Govt. and front line health services around pregnancy issues generally, we could use this whooping cough fiasco as an example. And there are so many others; flu jab 2 years ago, the recent 'rationing epidurals' nonsense that came out of that report (was from the RCN?? my memory escapes me), the constantly shifting advice on what to eat/not eat - I could go on and on.

As you say pregnancy can be a fraught and vulnerable time for many women. This and the last Govt have paid lip-service to making maternity services more user friendly but having had 3 pregnancies in the last 5 years I've seen no evidence of improvement. Notwithstanding the fact that my own community midwifery team is excellent staffed by fabulous midwives.

Any thoughts from anyone else???

Finbert Wed 03-Oct-12 17:44:23

Emerald mine was a combined jab (assume all the same around uk) with polio, diphtheria and tetanus included.
I would discuss any concerns with your midwife/nurse and hopefully then you can make an informed decision right for you smile

AliceHurled Wed 03-Oct-12 17:49:27

Totally baffled then if it's says breast milk doesn't protect and compares it to 'other infections'. Contradicts my understanding about breast milk generally which does pass antibodies generally speaking. MW confirmed this the other day. Makes no sense. Just adds to the feeling of total confused

ValiumQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 19:26:06

They are going to be getting a single WC vaccine, but at the moment believe that the combined jab is better than nowt.

Alice - I think the concern is that women will think "I don't need the jab, I'll get it after I have the baby and then breastfeed". Which given that our BF rates are crap, won't do the job nationwide. And while BM contains antibodies, it's not as good as a vaccine. But if you're at the very end of your pregnancy (as I am) it's a hell of a lot better than nothing...

ValiumQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 19:49:57

Have started a thread in Mumsnet campaigns. Hope it does not turn into a bunfight <<considers possible name change>>

AliceHurled Wed 03-Oct-12 19:54:41

That makes sense Longtalljosie. Like the 'don't drink any alcohol' cos we is too fick to understand the nuance. I have an appt for after my due date, which doesn't sound the most useful. But figured then I could at least be some help with BF.

Very similar, I think. I noted in the NHS leaflet on whooping cough the FAQ was something like "I was inoculated as a child, can't I pass on the antibodies in my breastmilk" - which conflates two issues - the fact that the vaccine will have worn off - with breastfeeding and antibodies. I was a bit hmm at that.

blonderthanred Thu 04-Oct-12 12:10:11

Just had a phone call from the community midwife with whom I was booked in for my jabs at 12.30. Guess what? She can't do them. Rang the GP receptionist who booked me in and told her what the cmw had said, that I needed an appt with the practice nurse. She said that the PN was very busy with flu jabs but I explained I was short of time due to being induced in 2wks+5 so she has found me an appointment tomorrow.

She said, "you know the trouble is they issued all this info to the news agencies but there's been no communication with us" - i.e. GPs, midwives or nurses, the people who will be administering and administrating it. So exactly the problem we've been saying all along.

VQ I am happy to join a campaign but I think the MN Campaigns section is only for their campaigns, unless there's another section I'm not aware of?

steben Thu 04-Oct-12 12:25:01

Final update from me - had it today along with flu jab. Apparently I am the first person to have it, and that us only because I have been on the phone to everyone at that surgery bar the cleaner I think blush

The nurse said the jab would be rolled out from next week in specialist clinics - and for the ladies talking about the breast milk situation she told me unprompted that if I were to deliver early etc then to breast feed as much as possible to pass antibodies onto baby that way. Anyway good luck to rest if you at the later stages!

ShellyBobbs Thu 04-Oct-12 13:11:21

I'm just off to my surgery now, just to recap my little fight.

1 Went into surgery on Friday, they knew nothing - fair enough, pissed off about the communication issue, complained to MP about national announcement before informing primary care trusts.

2 Monday, phoned surgery - we don't know nuffin, phone back later in the week. I telephoned the immunisation co-ordinator at my local PCT to find out what was going on. All surgeries in the area had been emailed by herself Friday AND Monday morning with instructions. Confirmation that my surgery was included. Will give them a days grace to get their stuff in order.

3 Tuesday phoned surgery - we still know nuffin, phone back later in the week. Advised them that they did, they had all information, should have ordered extra stocks as freely available and no delay and should now be taking appointments. We still know nuffin........ Left my details, details of person who sent email at PCT and told them I'd be in to speak to manager and to get my appointment tomorrow. Sent an update to PCT and complained about surgery to MP.

4 Have received a response from PCT saying they are taking it up with the practice manager and that there will be no problem with me making an appointment tomorrow (today).

So I'll let you know what happens in a few hours smile

MsElisaDay Thu 04-Oct-12 13:56:53

After much confusion and various conflicting messages from my doctor's surgery, I had the whooping cough jab this morning.

This comes after I went into the surgery on Saturday for my flu jab and they knew nothing of it then. Rang on Monday, still nothing, then rang yesterday and was told they'd be in touch with all pregnant women at some point next week.
Then, when I turned up for my 36-week appointment with the midwife this morning, they'd just got a stock of the jabs in and were offering them to all women coming into the waiting room, before they saw the midwife.

So I had it done there and then. One slight word of warning though - it's left me very woozy indeed, which is most unlike me. I never tend to react to things, but I feel extremely tired and quite spaced out. Will be interesting to hear if anyone else experiences this.

ValiumQueen Thu 04-Oct-12 14:01:39

Good luck shelly. Do not take no for an answer. Not that you would.

blonder MNHQ suggested I post there. Nobody has posted. I put a note on the due Oct thread, and Nov thread knows, so I guess everyone else will get invited for vaccination once it is rolled out officially.

My arm is really quite sore, and a bit red and lumpy. I tend to react a bit to vaccines so not overly worried. Could not sleep on that side last two nights, which is probably contributing to my hip pain.

I think this thread has done a lot of good, giving individuals the confidence to get firm with their GPs, which is not an easy thing to do, so thank you for starting it thanks

ValiumQueen Thu 04-Oct-12 14:05:07

elisa I felt a bit woozy, but I think that was just relief at having had it, and the near immediate fear of thinking perhaps I shouldn't have had that. Has it passed now? If not, might be best just to give your surgery a call. It is important they report side effects, I will be reporting the swelling, lumpiness and redness. They might want to check you too. Perhaps it was the shock that they were showing initiative grin

flutterbynight Thu 04-Oct-12 14:14:05

I have my vaccine booked for Monday but have just had the letter from my GP which states that "this is the vaccine that we give routinely to the babies at 8 weeks" - that can't be right can it? I've read that pediacel is given to babies and that repevax is what we pregnant ladies are going to be vaccinated with - anyone else in the know who can confirm this? I called my surgery but was told the doctors wouldn't know and the nurse, who would know, isn't in today!

Clarella Thu 04-Oct-12 14:45:15

Just to add what's happened in my neck of the woods - I had a final slapped cheek blood test this morning (not needed but out of 4 medical people 2 said do it, 2 said don't bother so just did it) and so was going to ask about whooping cough and just go to the flu drop ins the surgery had next week, as had been told it will be practice nurses administering whooping cough, but on tues they had had no idea when.

Was running stupidly late and thought would have to reschedule but so was nurse. When I got in she'd literally just been handed the first boxes of both flu and whooping cough vaccines (late was good for once!) and had them out for me - this is Newcastle and I'm 32 wks. She dithered over which arm for which and said they'd had absolutely no idea about the whooping cough vac. I've felt like Popeye as then walked round town carrying bags of 3 for 2 sudocrem etc but feel fine, flu arm probably a little more sore out of the two.

She did say it was the same as the under 3's vac with the other vaccinations in it.

OctoberOctober Thu 04-Oct-12 15:31:25

FINALLY had the jab - I'll be 39 weeks tomorrow. Have been on at the surgery every day since Friday and was pushing to get it earlier than next MW appt next mon give how far along I am. MW called this morning to say she could do it today, under her nurse hat rather than MW hat as they haven't agreed funding angry

Still prob too late to pass on fully immunity to baby but figure it has to be better than nothing...

For those asking about the vaccine itself, it was repevax and contains 3 other doses as well. Is the one they usually administer to preschoolers.

ValiumQueen Thu 04-Oct-12 16:01:46

They hope to get the WC only vaccine, but that will take time. Seeing as though it is urgent for some, having the pre-schooler one is better than nothing.

october hope your baby is late grin. It is still better than nothing, and it will get some antibodies.

wkmmum Thu 04-Oct-12 16:03:56

Had mine about an hour ago along with my flu jab. So far I feel ok. Didn't ask exactly what was in it but she did say it had tetanus in as well xx

DonnaDoon Thu 04-Oct-12 16:13:28

My surgery still no nowt sad trying again tomorrow and attending MPs workshop.

Goldrill Thu 04-Oct-12 18:58:00

Right, there need to be new words invented to describe how BLOODY FURIOUS I am at this moment. After waiting in the docs for half an hour, I went in to see the nurse who said she couldn't give me the jab because I'm 39 weeks. She said it was only available up to 38 weeks according to their guidance. Someone is going to be seriously shouted at tomorrow morning: don't make me a sodding appointment if you're not going to give me the vaccine for a start, and then the PCT to see what their guidance actually is and why. Ooh - I am so annoyed!!!

DaffyDuck88 Fri 05-Oct-12 00:15:44

I called my surgery on Monday to book for a flu jab and was told I would have to wait until November for an appointment, I then also asked about the whooping cough booster and when the receptionist checked with the nurse was told as I am 29 weeks to come in asap the nurse would do both at the same time! Just had them today. The nurse said they would make every effort to fit mothers in around other patients especially if they were even closer to their due date. I'd push to get the receptionist to check with the nurse as they are taking it very seriously.

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 06:03:04

Well, mine doesn't give 2 shits!

Receptionist hadn't even heard of it when I asked today, this is after the PCT has supposedly spoken to the practice manager angry, she asked if I meant the flu jab. Practice manager not in and nurse who is in charge of setting it all up not in either!!!!

Press today now, I'm so fucked off!!!

Not even a reply off my MP either even though I've emailed him 3 times since last Saturday. What a complete shower of shit.....

I was given an apt on Monday for this morning, they rang yesterday to say they didn't think they would have stock but would keep me informed, I explained that I am 36+3 and have c section at 39, they later phoned back saying a small amount of vaccine due in afternoon and they had prioritised me and could I come at 5.30...

Pretty impressed really ( NW )

OctoberOctober Fri 05-Oct-12 08:26:28

ShelleyBobs and Goldrill - that is completely bloody annoying when it doesn't feel like they are taking you seriously and have no clue. It is supposed to be their JOB to know about these jabs yet we seem to be better informed than half the admin staff.

Can you try to speak to your midwives and see if they can push for you to have it? That is how I ended up getting both flu and wc jabs, MW seemed to be administering all of these to pregnant women although she muttered something about there being funding issues although I was past caring at that point!

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 08:37:03

goldrill be furious. Be very furious and tackle them head on. You surely are the highest of priorities. Have you spoken to Public Health? Not that you should have to. There are links further upthread that you could perhaps print off? They clearly state that mums will be given it hopefully pre birth, if not, post birth. Ideally we would have this at 34 weeks, but 39 is better than not at all. There is a chance your baby will get some antibodies, which is better than nothing. We never want our babies to be late, but with the WC situation, hopefully they are so they can get the best protection possible. Good luck! Is there anyone else who could support you in this? Your MP - do they do a drop in clinic? At 39 weeks you should not have this stress.

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 08:38:56

I had mine tuesday at 35+5, due section at 39. Arm still sore, lumpy and red, but so pleased I have had it.

blonderthanred Fri 05-Oct-12 09:26:33

Oh my first ever flowers thank you VQ!

My MP is going to 'look into it'. He is a cock anyway. I should be having the jab at 10.30am. Hope not too sore as long drive this aft.

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 09:45:14

There is a new WC thread that is discussion of the day, so it is getting. Good exposure (excuse the pun) on here.

blonder enjoy your jab, and flowers grin

Stumbleine Fri 05-Oct-12 10:05:10

I've been following this thread since last week so thought I would add my story so far...

I'm 37+5 today. Last Saturday asked about the jab as I was in the surgery having my flu jab and was told that they thought stocks would take about 2 weeks. I explained to the receptionist that I would be over 38 weeks by then and did they not have pre school booster stock they could give me? I was told no as this is for the children. She told me to.call back during the week when they would no more.

I called in on Monday and they said they would have stock next Monday (38+1) and have me an appointment for then. All week I have been sitting at home seething over the fact that they have jabs sat in the cupboard I could have! So I rang again yesterday and was given a telephone appointment with the nurse. I told her how a friend (34 wks pgs) had a jab from pre school stock at her surgery. I have been told that I cannot have it until new stock comes in and they are hoping it will be Monday! I am so irate at this now.

Stumbleine Fri 05-Oct-12 10:06:13

Sorry for dreadful typing stupid phone!

StuntNun Fri 05-Oct-12 10:09:42

My surgery's receptionist says she hasn't even heard of the whooping cough vaccine. I'll have to ask the midwife next week and hope she's somewhat less clueless than usual. angry

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 10:15:09

stumbleine that is SHIT! They tried that emotional blackmail on me, saying would you rather we gave you the vaccine instead of a child? The child would have already been vaccinated, as it is the preschooler ones, and they could happily wait a couple of weeks, but my unborn child cannot, and is far more at risk than a pre-schooler. It is not for you, it is for your baby!!! I would be down there being irate at them. They have been told to prioritise mums at your stage and to vaccinate immediately opportunistically at maternal request. Yes, you have a vaccine booked for Monday, but every day baby has a chance at antibodies will help. Ideally we would have had it at 34 weeks. Go kick some ass!

mummybear12 Fri 05-Oct-12 10:15:39

does anyone know if they are giving this jab in rep of ireland ?, cant find anythin about it here, will definitly get it if they are my husband nearly died from wc when he was a bub , thanks, and good luck to all expecting mummy smile

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 10:24:40

No idea about republic of Ireland. I know NI is covered, but you are completely separate politically, so they would need to make their own decision and policies. Worth making waves about it due to the fact we are so close. Good luck!

mummybear12 Fri 05-Oct-12 10:56:13

Thanks valiumQueen will do have doc app next wk so will ask then aswell , but definitly be makin waves if they havent done anything about it , dont live too far from borther either so might be able to go to gp there , sneek in lol , we are always a bit slower to get these jab s !! and good luck VQ i see you have 3 and a bit wks left , oh say your so excited !!

Stumbleine Fri 05-Oct-12 12:05:59

Thanks ValiumQueen. Yes it is shit! Nurse didn't have much of a clue what she was talking about either as she seemed to need trying to say that I would have some immunity from having the jab as a child. And how exactly the fuck is that supposed to protect my unborn baby??

Midgetm Fri 05-Oct-12 13:19:34

I'm in north London and they were really good. I went Into my surgery and they first said it was only for pregnant women (errr I am 37 weeks you doofus). Offered me an appointment for 2 weeks, but when I explained how far gone I was they gave it to me there and then. Glad as I had no time to think, should I shouldn't I and feel I have done the right thing. Probably a bit late in the day for me but still worth it for some small peace of mind. Flu vaccine doesn't arrive here for another 3 weeks. Relieved as didn't fancy them both at the same time. <waves at VQ>

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 13:44:46

<<waves back at midget >>

20 sleeps to my section grin <<faints>>

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 13:46:48

stumble you would think (hope) a nurse would know the protection runs out after 5 years.

Stumbleine Fri 05-Oct-12 13:54:01

You would wouldn't you! Have just got off the phone with PALS for my pct. They are passing it on to the immunisation lot so I await their call. Thought I'd try someone else as have been getting nowhere with the surgery lot!

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 13:59:01

Well my complaint with the PCT has been esculated to the complaints manager who has again spoken to the practice manager. The practice manager is going to phone me after she has spoken to the nurse who is in charge of arranging the jabs. Arse and Elbow?

I've to ring back before 4pm if I've heard nothing.

DebussyHead Fri 05-Oct-12 14:23:31

Arrghgh! I just wrote a MASSIVE post that has taken me about 20 mins with my full story and my bloody computer just froze and lost the whole thing!

Dont have time to rewrite it all but wanted to update you all. I was told on monday to come in this morning for vaccine as they were due to come in on thurs. Spoke to surgery again on tues and told the appointment should never have been made and that no vaccines were available till 15th. Very rude about it. Had strong exchange of words with receptionist who didnt give a shit I was alreadt 35 weeks, told me it was 'not their problem', told me I couldnt have flu and WC together as the WC vaccine contained flu vaccine (I kid you not!) and I would be wasting my time coming in on Friday. I had to wait till 15th like everyone else.

Went in today ready for a flight, armed with tonnes of information including the actual letter sent from the Medical Director to all GPs to inform them what had been asked of them (opporunitic vaccination on maternal request). Saw bitch of a receptionist being rude to other patients so its obviously a key aspect of her job. Saw lovely lovely nurse who gave me WC and Flu Vaccine, no questions asked and told me I was doing the right thing!!

Very, very relieved but still angry at the anxiety and stress this has caused me and so many of you this week. After my heated exchange with the surgery on tuesday I actually had to leave work early as my blood pressure went through the roof and I nearly passed out (shaking, racing heart, sick) and my colleagues were offering to drive me to the hospital. All because of the horrible GP receptionist telling me I couldnt have the vaccine and basically there was nothing i could do about it. ITs a disgrace.

Good luck to the rest of you. I encourage you to just show up like i did today and try and see a clinician (rather than a jumped up admin on front desk that knows fuck all about it).

Thanks so much for running this thread and esp to Valium who gave me lots of info and courage to go and kick ass for my unborn child!

DebussyHead Fri 05-Oct-12 14:31:30

Oh by the way, spoke to a GP friend during the week who adviced if I was getting nowhere with my own surgery in the timelines needed one way round it would be to get a prescription for Repevax from a DR. This would depend on pharmacies having available stock. you would then ask your midwife, nurse or Dr to administer the vaccine (this is all based on fact my surgery told me they had NO VACCINES on the premises until 15th).

My neighbour is a pharmasist and so I asked if he had any. He said DOH had ringfenced all stocks so he couldnt even order them in but that he had ONE single vaccine in his stock he could give me if I obtained a prescription. I didnt need to do this in the end as I got it this morning but it was my back up plan.

But if I had had to source my own fucking vaccine to get protection I would have been on the phone to MP for sure! Glad it didnt come to that!

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 14:33:34

debussy glad you got it, but you should not have had that fight. I wonder how many babies will come early due to the stress of this? When you feel a bit better I would strongly encourage you to complain about the receptionist. They should not be giving advice to pregnant women, especially incorrect advice. This has happened far too often in relation to this. Now then relax, pit your feet up and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy, knowing you have done your very best for your baby, who is already proud you x thanks brew.

DebussyHead Fri 05-Oct-12 14:34:08

Oh and meant to say big thanks to MoonHare for sharing her MP letter on request!

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 14:34:52

No harm in telling your MP anyway IMO. When you are ready.

DebussyHead Fri 05-Oct-12 14:36:33

[Thanks] Valium! Just off to pick my toddler up from nursery but already feeling much calmer. Just hope bun stays in oven for at least another 2 weeks!

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 14:45:01

My MP doesn't give a shit, I've not even had a response from Jonathan Reynolds after 3 emails.

The irony of my situation is my surgery is where Dr Shipman worked before he set up on his own! Can you imagine the headlines!

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 14:45:47


Just had a call from the surgery, I'm going down there NOW to get my vaccine. Amazeballs what a kicking from up above does smile

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 14:56:33

Well done shelly. Now, be gentle with them grin

MoonHare Fri 05-Oct-12 15:18:50

Hi guys

Had another holding response from my MP today, it was a copy of a letter from the Deputy CX of our local NHS saying he's investigating the issues. However it seems like a bit of buck passing from the MP since my issue is that Govt. made a national public announcement without first contacting front line services. not that I have a problem with local NHs services as such. I can't really fault my GP practice as I had my jab on Monday, mind you they did tell me they knew I had written to my MP, so who knows if I would have been offered it otherwise??!!

Anyway, I've also contact Radio 4's Woman's Hour to see if they would consider doing an item on this and the wider issues it highlights about the paternalistic, high-handed way that maternity services are run generally.

Let's see what they say......

Good luck ShelleyBobbs - enjoy your jab!

PeshwariNaan Fri 05-Oct-12 15:35:06

Posted this in another thread, wonder if anyone has thoughts:

Is anyone else concerned that Repevax, the vaccine that is being used, contains polio vaccine? Polio vaccine is not recommended in pregnancy.

The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine widely used in the US and France is DPT - diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus, but not polio. I really want this vaccine but I'm worried about the conflict between two types of medical advice.

Any ideas? Don't know who to ask on this one.

Stumbleine Fri 05-Oct-12 15:35:36


PALS called me back saying that they had spoken to the immunisation lead and that the issue may be that any repevax my surgery had in stock was already allocated to children for the booster jab. They did not say that the surgery had been told that they couldn't administer to pregnant women from that existing stock. I have emailed the immunisation team for confirmation of this fact.

I then rang and spoke to the surgery practice manager. She then finally shed some light on what the real issue is - the nurses are unwilling to administer the vaccine (regardless of which stock it comes from) as they have no pgd yet. So I suggested that surely if a G.P were to prescribe it then I could have the jab! "Oh yes, I hadn't thought of that" says she...

So the upshot is I now have the an appointment to see the G.P first thing on Monday (the earliest they had) to hopefully get the jab.

God it's like pulling teeth!! If I had known that was the real issue a week ago then I could have come up with my 'revlolutionary' suggestion then!!! angry.

Can I ask, as someone who works for an MP, what it is you are wanting them to do? I understand your frustrations (I'm 39 weeks pregnant) but they don't have magic wands and can't force GPs to vaccinate you.

Sending 3 emails in a week doesn't entitle you to a response; we deal with cases as they arrive and priorities those that are urgent - but we are not an emergency service, and, as its recess, there is very little we can do in 5 days.

Complaining about the way the policy was announced I'd fair enough, but all an mp can do in this situation is flag up your concerns at a higher level - this means writing to the DOH and waiting 30 days for a response.

I'm generally interested as to what you would like an MP to do; I will then happily feed this back to them.

Incidentally, the announcement was made last Friday because that is when the latest figures were released - there is no way of channelling out the info without it becoming public knowledge as well, so I'm not sure the government can be blamed. Would you rather the figures were released and the government waited for all the GPs/PCTs to be updated before they advised how they were planning on dealing with it? Surely that would have just caused even more delay and panic.

MoonHare Fri 05-Oct-12 16:13:33

In response to ThunderboltKid's request for clarification:

I expect MPs, especially those that are members of the Govt. to work to ensure this sort of fiasco does not arise after an announcement has been made.

Of course the Govt are to blame Thunder. Information could have been sent to frontline services simultaneously with the figures being released. Problem solved.

The issues women have encountered have been entirely due to their GP practices not having received timely guidance from Dept. of Health on how the immunisation programme should be administered.

I don't see how simply releasing figures on incidences of whooping cough to the media would necessarily raise panic and caused delay concerning a new programme to immunise pregnant women. The confusion arose because the media reported vaccines would be available to pregnant women between 28-38 weeks gestation from Monday 1st October. But no-one had told GP surgeries that.

The complaints MN members have made to their MPs have been about the lack of communication between central Govt. and front line health services not "me, me, me - I want my vaccine now" Though it is notable that those of us who have been in touch with our MPs have all been offered the vaccine while others have not.........

I expect my MP to find out why front line services were not informed in enough time for them to plan their response and to make sure they had stocks of vaccine. Also, my MPs office were able to respond to me the very next day, recess or not so clearly some MPs are happy to respond promptly to their constituents on issues of life and death, which this one potentially is. Emotive I know but also true.

Feel free to feed this back.

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 16:18:27

peswari I answered on the other thread grin

cordiality Fri 05-Oct-12 16:24:09

Hi Peshwari, can you link to your info that polio vacc is not allowed for pregnant women? My online research only shows that it hasn't been researched enough (as with most medicines in pregnancy) or that it's fine and can be given if necessary.

Eg here, on patient.co.uk

"IPV can also be given to pregnant and breastfeeding women, if protection is required without delay. There is no evidence of risk from vaccinating pregnant or breastfeeding women with inactivated vaccines or toxoids."

The decisin to offer these vaccinations won't have been taken lightly, they take into account all issues and risks and make a decision based on that. I really wouldn't let it affect your decision, the availability of this vaccine for us pregnant women is a brilliant thing and something really proactive that we can do to protect the health of our unborn children.

Hope that helps!

elizaregina Fri 05-Oct-12 16:24:16


Your response has made me shudder to my core.

Can I ask you what pregnant women are SUPPOSED to do - when the media is panicking us - and the docs dont know about it.

we are caught between a rock and a hard place.

I suppose we are all supposed to smile serenly and say - " hey ho....never mind....its one of those things"!

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:28:54

ladies I'm in the same position as the rest of you, my surgery doesn't know yet when I'll be able to get it (am 27 weeks)

but really what do you want? the info to be hushed for weeks till every GP has opened and read all their emails? I think surely its better that we are ALLOWED this information even if there's a gap between the info and the vaccines being distributed from our GPs, so at least we know to ask for it WHEN it comes in

I think the alternative is much more scary! I don't think this info should have been hushed for weeks just to bridge the gap between info an practical application!

MoonHare Fri 05-Oct-12 16:34:29

But they could have told GPs what was going on AT THE SAME TIME as releasing to the media. That's the point.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:37:33

can you really not see why there'd be a delay in the decision that there is a need for the vaccine, and the decision about how it'll be delivered practically? and for vaccines to be delivered with appropriate protocal etc?

look we have the info
all our surgeries will soon have the vaccines
yes some people will miss the boat but they would have missed the boat if the info and vaccines were shipped out on the same day!

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 16:37:49

The 3 emails sent were 1 to the MP explaining a situation in HIS constituency and copying him into 2 more, the response I would have at least liked to have read is, to paraphrase you,

'I can flag up your concerns at a higher level - this means writing to the DOH and waiting 30 days for a response.'

Quote from his webpage

'But, above all, I am keen to hear your views too. And I hope you will use this website as an opportunity to keep in touch – by sending me a message.'

So I think that I am at least entitled to send him an email and cc him in a communication so that he, or his office can follow what is going on, I don't think that I am being unreasonable in expecting a 1 line email back either. Do YOU not think this is a serious enough subject? Do you think he will if a baby in his constituency died of whooping cough in say, 4 weeks because the mum's surgery hadn't pulled their finger out?

Incidentally Thunder I do know how to deal with MPs, it is no secret and I found the last one to be extremely helpful when I questioned a breastfeeding subject many years ago, he brought it up in parliament.

What do I want him to do? Well make sure it doesn't happen again. As I said in my email where was the communication between DOH who advised us (pregnant women) we could just breeze into our doctors and get the jab and the surgeries and PCTs? Maybe you can feed that back?

You make it sound like we don't know what our MPs are for!

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:38:42

its one thing to say that whooping cough is a big risk this year
and another all together to say that the best/safest way to deal with it is X
and another thing again to get a protocol about who to vaccinate when plus the actual vaccines out

DonnaDoon Fri 05-Oct-12 16:40:32

halloweeneyqueeney At 27 wks you are not in the position as the rest of us....you have plenty of time to be vaccinated....those of us panicking are 36wks+

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:40:37

"Well make sure it doesn't happen again"
don't you see that in practical terms what you are actually asking is that information is witheld from all of us in future until everything is in place, rather than us knowing about risks as they are discovered

THAT is scary and I'm a bit angry that people are asking this on behalf of all pregnant women! I'ld rather know as and when things are happening thanks!

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:42:19

Doona if you want the vaccines and info to be available at the same time, that does not mean the vaccines would be available SOONER, it just means that the info would have been witheld until LATER, can't you see that? it wouldn't mean you'ld have got vaccinated the day the press released the info, it wouldn't make it available any sooner it just would have kept us in the dark for longer!

DonnaDoon Fri 05-Oct-12 16:44:40

Well I would have rather have been kept in the dark thanks...ignorance is bliss and all that

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:46:56

well I wouldn't and I'ld urge any of you mailing MPs to only speak in first person SINGULAR not first person plural! you do not speak for me!

think about it, if we all had to wait until every GP was ready to go with vaccines for everyone then noone in their later stages would have been in a position to ask to be rushed though and they would have missed it completely!

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:47:50

"think about it, if we all had to wait until every GP was ready to go with vaccines for everyone then noone in their later stages would have been in a position to ask to be rushed though and they would have missed it completely!"

I mean if we all had to wait for that to be informed of any of this

Eliza surely the answer is to be firm with the GPs until they get up to speed; which seems to be the most successful approach on this thread. I'm genuinely interested in what you think an MP can do immediately?

Shelly unfortunately most people don't know what their MPs are for. The DoH didn't inform pregnant woman that...they said it would be available from the Monday. In practice, the way information had been fed down the chain has failed and that needs to be, and I'm sure will be, looked into.

But I agree you should have had an acknowledgement by now from your MP; I'd be pretty embarrassed if it was my office who couldn't have at least managed that after 5 days (I've checked though, and its not my office smile)

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 16:48:16

Nobody wants it hushed for weeks. How long do you actually think that it takes to order the stocks in? Days. In my area full instructions were sent out the same day, my surgery was still saying 'we don't know what's going on' 6 days later. They did know, I only wanted to know WHEN they thought I'd get an appointment, if they'd have said 2 weeks, which would have actually bought them time, then fair enough, but they didn't, they LIED.

The surgeries could have had a heads up the day before, just to let them know an announcement was imminent, it's a routine vaccination and there are plenty of stocks available. I know there is paperwork, but they could have built that into a time given.

And I wonder if your opinion would be the same if you were 37 weeks and being told, 'sorry, we don't know anything, phone back later in the week', time and time again. I know people miss the boat, of course they do, but I don't think you've really got a grasp of the feelings that are involved here, some of us have seen whooping cough in babies and yes I'll fight until I get it.

halloweeney couldn't agree more! At 39 weeks I don't have time for GPs to sort themselves out and wait for them to contact me. I'm glad I could badger them sooner and kick up a fuss to be seen urgently.

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 16:53:22

Thunder that's all I wanted, just an acknowledgement, I understand that anything to do with my MP takes time. As I said my last MP was really on the ball and it's the same party, shame he tried to mess with Gordon Brown.......

It would be available from Monday to most people would mean that you could ring up your surgery for an appointment, I didn't literally mean to walk in off the street.

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 16:54:47

halloweeney you are not in the same position as us. You cannot even have it yet at 27 weeks. Trust me, it looks very different when you are almost at term.

In this day of instant communication, there is no excuse for the delay and the blatant lies we have been told. The surgeries already have supplies, but lied to us about that, then tried the emotional blackmail route. Not good enough.

I think I have done very well not to swear.

MoonHare Fri 05-Oct-12 16:55:20

On Friday 28th Sept unless your Receptionist/Practice Nurse/GP had seen/heard the news that day they didn't even know vaccines were to be offered.

Surgeries could have been sent the guidance that they received on Monday 1st on 28th instead (are we expected to believe that someone sat in Dept of Health all weekend writing it? And if they did then this is even more of a shower than first appears...) then all surgeries would have known that they were allowed to administer opportunistically at the request of pregnant women who were coming up to 38 weeks. They would have also been able to advise all pregnant women that they were planning their strategy for immunisation and how they intended to let everyone know.

The point is because the GPs were not informed at all before/simultaneously with the media no practice was even able to be a tiny bit prepared, even down to just taking the inevitable phone calls from women.

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 16:56:18

In relation to the paperwork, the doctors were emailed early this week and were told clearly that they did not need to wait for paperwork. This has been stated clearly up thread.

Valium- I'm 39 weeks so more than 'qualified' to share halloweeney's opinion.

MoonHare - there is a line of communication. It isn't DOH direct to GPs; it has to filter down. This is where I agree there are flaws.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 16:59:53

Shelly I've HAD whooping cough and the memories of it still frighten me so believe me I feel urgenly about this too!

and I understand from personal experience how scary it is to be caught on on the borderline of something like this too!

but even to say "tell the GPs a day before the press" = tell us a day later and I do not agree with anyone who is asking for info like this to be witheld from us for even a day because we are delicate little flowers of pregnant women who just can't cope with the worry hmm

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 17:01:47

And here is an example of how it should have been done, this was done on the MONDAY after the announcement by one of my local surgeries.

Anyone phoning in about it had their details taken and were told they would be contacted later in the day when the surgery knew more.

They made a list of all the pregnant women on their 'books' who were within the catchment.

Stocks were ordered.

Every woman on the list and any who had phoned in were contacted and given an appointment.

They started vaccinating today, all paperwork is in place.

Now that I would have been VERY happy with. I think many others would have been too. That is all we wanted, just to make it clear to anyone who is wondering what we are 'moaning at'.

ShellyBobbs Fri 05-Oct-12 17:07:58

Halloween I have NEVER said delay it, I said they could have had a heads up, I'm sure the announcement wasn't broadcast the minute it became evident. There was a trend leading up to the announcement, nobody sat up in wide awake in the middle of the night and thought 'we MUST announce it now'.

This thread has shown that contrary to myth, pregnant women are not delicate little flowers, unless the flowers are the ones held by Dirty Den's first time killer.

Shelly I agree that is definitely how it should have been done. But that's not the government's fault that that hasn't happened! They couldn't have given GPs the info any earlier than the public because it would have been leaked.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 17:08:39

shelly a complaint about the lack of that sort of communication should be directed at individual surgeries, not MPs about the fact that there is was an inevitable delay between the info and the application, people really need to think what they are asking of their MPs! really!

yes it is a commonly used medication, but if the protocols about WHO commonly gets a certain medication changes then that is a big deal that everyone involved needs to be sure of.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 17:11:15

oh come on, what's the practical difference between an early "heads up" if not that it is held back from public knowledge for a few days

there is a distinct point where an emerging trend is deemed a risk

and yes if they sent it out to all GPs and not sent it to press until stocks were in and letters gone out, there would have been more panic as surgery staff send chinese whispers out to their pregnant relatives (which some would even if they shouldn't!)

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 17:15:27

thunderbolt you did kick up a fuss because you are later in your pregnancy. halloweeney is implying that we should all be patient and wait until the protocols and supplies are in place. That happened on Monday, so why are women still being fobbed off? My argument still is that halloweeney has the luxury of time, so I am not quite sure what you are agreeing with her about? I do not think anyone has said information should have been withheld.

DonnaDoon Fri 05-Oct-12 17:17:12

I resent being mocked as A delicate little flower that cant cope with the worry If I was only 27 weeks I wouldnt be jarred either way trust me.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 17:17:45

"I do not think anyone has said information should have been withheld"
most have not deliberately no (although DonnaDoon said she'ld prefer that!!)

but the letters to MPs may actually be saying exactly that! so I think people need to thing about who they really should be complaining to (perhaps their individual surgery?) and how they are wording it, and who they are claiming to represent (i.e. only themselves, not all of us!)

DonnaDoon Fri 05-Oct-12 17:18:35

VQ I said that I would rather have been kept in the dark because I wouldnt have had this worry this week sad

DonnaDoon Fri 05-Oct-12 17:20:46

And why oh why would I for instance complain to my surgery when they have received no information from the powers that be. Its not my surgerys fault.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 17:23:33

something similar may happen when I'm 37 weeks and I don't want the powers that be thinking twice about me even being allowed the information as and when!

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 17:26:20

I completely got that donna as I too have had that worry.

I did complain to my surgery after I had spoken to Public Health, and they blatantly lied to me. I spoke to my MP as I needed to talk to someone, feel that someone cared and could perhaps take it further. I have never been to an MP in my life, and I am very old! It helped. I personally think MPs do very little, but I felt utterly helpless.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 05-Oct-12 17:29:24

The surgery by now know there is info they should have had and should know how to retrieve it if its lost in the inbox of someone on leave or in a junk filter

emails did go out last week! and a GP should know who to contact if they appear to have been missed/misplaced the email!

pathogens change every year and at risk groups change every year... they may not know exactly WHAT is going to be the new thing this year but they shouldn't be surprized that something LIKE this has happened and should know what to do to update themselves and how to respond to enquiries about the latest scare.. cause there's always something

" I personally think MPs do very little, but I felt utterly helpless." You can across as someone who was quite well informed up to that statement hmm

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 18:26:12

I am informed about stuff that interests me. I personally have no interest in politics. This is not a thread about politics, but Whooping Cough. I was not intending to come across as informed. I don't care if you think I am informed or not thunderbolt

I don't like how this thread has turned since halloweeny and thunderbolt have showed up, so I will say goodbye. <<slams door behind me>>

DonnaDoon Fri 05-Oct-12 18:41:42

VQ YAY before you go I am booked in for Monday...it might have something to do with my lovely local helpful MP who coincidentally lives 2 streets away from me (he has just informed me) who knows if it was anything to do with his input or not (he certainly has a more powerful voice than little old me)

DonnaDoon Fri 05-Oct-12 18:51:37

Just incase thats not clear Docs informed me of appointment by telephone whilst I was attending an open workshop held by my MP monthly...and relax smile

MoonHare Fri 05-Oct-12 20:08:12

I agree with VQ this has been an informative and supportive thread about whooping cough and how to make sure women get the jab they need in a timely fashion.

It has been highjacked this afternoon by people with defensive motives concerning their own connection with MPs seeking to point score off some of those like VQ who have tried hardest to be helpful to other women on here. Not on.

elizaregina Fri 05-Oct-12 21:21:56


It sounds as if we are all expected to know - how I dont know - instinctively or perhaps - we should gen up on this in our own time - just how the life and times of an MP works?

Its not really our business just how your office or MP functions.

What we should know and shouldnt be bullied into thinking otherwise is that when a directive from the government - ie the DOH issues a notice down the "levels" and that announcement causes stress and anxiety and worry - we should be allowed and encouraged to complain to our MP's - about that gov body.

This is what people have done.

The MP can then pass and feed back to where its appropriate that thier constiuents found this way of issuing a directive to be stressful.

Next time - please look at what went wrong and work on how to make it better.

We should all be looking to improve things and make them better.

I find your attitude quite shocking really, I would love to know which MP you work for - as it sounds like this attitude of ..."what do these morons expect me to do" must be coming from her/him.

YellowWellies Sat 06-Oct-12 13:44:54

This had been a really helpful thread about the jab (not about politics) until ladies 'up themselves' via their connections 'to power' took over. Get over yourself loves - I bet you're really the office cleaner or post lady wink grin.

God if this is what the opinions of a minor minion are - no wonder the political classes seem so odious, pocket filling and generally disconnected. We really do need another political party - but I digress.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now