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

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

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

suzyrut Fri 30-Nov-12 10:46:56

Hi alpha

Had my booking in appointment recently and according to my m/wife you should have both jabs, the flu one immeditely and the whooping cough one some time after 6 months so that the immunity stays with your baby post birth. I had to phone my doctor and ask for flu jab but as long as you're registed on their system as pregnant you can book in.

Good luck, flu one made me feel like I'd been punched in the arm but nothing worse!

mrswee Fri 30-Nov-12 10:49:54

Well ultimetly it's up to you. you have time to think about whooping chough as it's not offered until at least 24 weeks up until 8 weeks I think. May be by that point in your pregnancy they will know more on wether it is working for stopping babies getting it.

I have had both but I usually get the flu one anyway as I have bad asthma. I actually declined the swine flu one with my last pregnancy but got it as soon as DD was born, hoping that me not getting flu would help her and that I might pass on some antibodies through feeding. But early in my pregnancy this year I have a very bad cold virus and was truly knocked for 6 and my asthma has been bad this pregnancy too so it made me think that I probably wouldn't handle flu too well.
I don't 100% trust vacines but I weighed it up and decided that personally I would get them.

Giddypants Fri 30-Nov-12 10:50:06

You can have the flu at any stage of pregnancy.
However you can only have the whooping cough vaccine between 28-38 weeks, it's the same jab that your LO will have at 4 weeks.
I think you have to weigh up the pros and cons, the cons can be devastating, but it's an individual choice

mrswee Fri 30-Nov-12 10:50:32

until 38 weeks I mean!

RooneyMara Fri 30-Nov-12 10:54:02

I just had the WC one at 33 weeks, it made my arm sore for a few days but nothing else.

Declined the flu one for now as I've heard about it making people poorly and I can do without that - also I've only got 5 weeks to go so if I can make it till then without getting flu, I'll be glad. and then deal with it later if there is a big outbreak - atm the risk of WC is higher around here, cases are up by 1,000 percent in this region.

AlphaBeta82 Fri 30-Nov-12 10:57:02

Giddypants you mentions 'cons' - what are they?

I would take both jabs at the appropriate point. Flu can be very serious in the pregnant woman and whoping cough killed another 3 babies last month.

RooneyMara Fri 30-Nov-12 11:00:08

NL have you any idea on the current stats on flu? Just wondering, will check HPA website maybe. I hadn't heard that it's a huge issue atm, while I'd heard WC is really a big concern iyswim.

RooneyMara Fri 30-Nov-12 11:03:13


Looks like it isn't tooooo bad at the moment. <feels slightly relieved>

PeshwariNaan Fri 30-Nov-12 11:19:59

You can only have the WC jab between 28-38 weeks so the antibodies cross over to the baby in time. I had a sore arm for about a week afterwards (had it at 32 weeks).

I had the flu jab at 25 weeks - I felt safer waiting until a later stage in pregnancy to have it, but then it coincided with the week the jabs first came out so I was lucky. I had no reaction to it.

Quilty Fri 30-Nov-12 11:26:20

You can have flu jab at any time and WC is given between 28-38 weeks. Obviously it's a personal choice but both vaccines are extremely safe. You do hear of people feeling ill after the flu jab but this is far better than getting actual flu especially when pregnant. As for WC, cases are on the rise in newborns and getting the vaccine whilst pregnant is the only way we currently have of protecting newborns from WC.

My midwife didn't mention the flu jab at my booking appointment either which I thought was a bit rubbish but maybe she just forgot. Never mind!

AppleOgies Fri 30-Nov-12 11:29:31

Personally I would have both (especially the whooping cough one) but only you can decide. Make an appointment with you GP to discuss it a bit more thoroughly.

RooneyMara Fri 30-Nov-12 11:30:30

Well I wasn't told to have it till I got two letters from the GP surgery at about 31/32 weeks, which said, we notice you have not yet had your vaccinations and are offering them to all pregnant women, etc.

So they might contact you later on. My GP did suggest I had the flu one when I was early on in pregnancy - about 10 weeks I think - as he said you could get it at any time.

RooneyMara Fri 30-Nov-12 11:30:56

But it was early summer then and I felt too sick to do anything much so I left it.

Quilty Fri 30-Nov-12 11:34:32

Ps. yes this is a fairly new protocol to offer WC jab to pregnant women because of the increase in cases in newborns this year. It's the same vaccine they use for children.

Saw this today on whooping cough, if I was pregnant I would definitely have it: www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19751209

Quilty Fri 30-Nov-12 11:38:00

I know the feeling!am yet to have flu jab done as feeling too sick! Hopefully unlikely to pick up flu being stuck at home doing bugger all and will be able to drag myself out to get it done next week!

stowsettler Fri 30-Nov-12 11:41:39

I've had them both. The risks to nipper by not having them far, far outweigh any perceived and not proven risk of having them.

Giddypants Fri 30-Nov-12 12:43:06

The cons, are the usual, reaction to the jabs being one, I think the giving whooping cough to Women in this country is relatively new, however they do it in the USA, personal feelings of vaccines etc.

I personally am gong to have the WC at around 32 weeks, I had the flu at 17 wks.

MrsAceRimmer Fri 30-Nov-12 13:12:05

I didn't get the flu jab when pregnant with DD (now 20 months) and I caught flu. Flu, pregnancy and toddler is a bad combo. Luckily, lovely PILs live round the corner and took DS every day till I was better (DH offshore) and got me my meds & looked after me.
Please get them - I ended up in hospital with it because I had breathing problems - probably could have avoided this if I'd had the jab.
I'm not athsmatic or have any underlying health issues and didn't then either.

Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Fri 30-Nov-12 13:35:24

Please get the whooping cough jab. DS had a respiratory infection aged 5 weeks (suspected whooping cough) and we had a week in hospital and PICU on oxygen and c-pap (but luckily not bad enough to need ventilating). Having seen the recent news about new born deaths I think we had a very lucky escape, but if you can take steps to avoid any early infection please do.

ImagineJL Fri 30-Nov-12 13:38:46

Can I just add that if you decide to have the flu jab, I'd suggest you ring your GP surgery asap. I'm a GP, and we have run out of flu jabs, and there are no more available, so were having to turn people away even if they're in at-risk groups. The manufacturers only make a certain number, and it's not sufficient for all the eligible people in the country, because it's assumed (correctly) that many people don't want it. Sometimes it backfires. It's a bit like airlines over-booking flights due to an expected number of no-shows.

DyeInTheEar Fri 30-Nov-12 14:03:22

I've had the WC at 36 weeks. I had Swine flu jab last pregnancy.

I'm interested in whether DH should have a WC booster. If the concern is that it's spreading because adults are no longer protected because the immunity has worn off from the jabs we had then surely both parents of a newborn should be having booster?

Quilty Fri 30-Nov-12 14:21:53

The vaccine works because the antibodies are passed from mum to baby through the placenta so in theory your baby is born with it's own immunity. No harm in asking GP about what boosters your partner could have though.

DyeInTheEar Fri 30-Nov-12 14:35:47

I was also told by nurse that they hope the antibodies from vaccine will be enough to protect newborn prior to their jabs - but it's also valuable because it ensures baby is less likely to contract WC (from me) because I've been recently immunised.

knottyhair Fri 30-Nov-12 14:36:04

I had both jabs - flu jab earlier, then WC at 30 weeks. TBH I did feel a bit rough in the 24 hours following both but nothing major. Have seen a lot of scaremongering about unknown side effects of the WC vaccine, but given that a side effect of WC on a newborn is death, it was a no brainer for me.

LadyMaryCrawley Fri 30-Nov-12 14:39:49

I've had both in the last fortnight, am 31 weeks and not taking any chances!

Baby will be born with protection it gets via me, which will last until it gets its own jab at 8 weeks - so no need for partners to get done (unless they are at risk, obviously)

AmberSocks Fri 30-Nov-12 16:10:24

I didnt have them,it hasnt been tested enough (on pregnant women) and the actual vaccine itself isnt efficiant,most of the people who have had the whooping cough in the outbreak were vaccinated,something ridiculous like 80 per cent.I have also seen the insert for it and it says do not use on pregnant women,and nothing in the vaccine has changed since they said you should have it,so i dont see how its suitable all of a sudden when it wasnt a year ago.

LordOfThe5Rings Fri 30-Nov-12 16:13:48

I'd advise to get your flu injection. It doesn't harm the baby and prevents you from getting the flu, which can sometimes cause complications during pregnancy.

I would read up more about whooping cough first, but I'd say yes to it as there is no evidence it harms the baby in any way and it prevents the baby from catching it in the first few months of their life. It can be spread by droplets in the air and therefore can spread from baby to baby or parent to baby. However, you should recieve this injection at 28 weeks so a while yet. Get the midwife to tell you all the facts and make an active choice that you feel is right for you.

Good luck with your pregnancy smile

P.S: I did get the flu jab and all is fine!

TheCountessOlenska Fri 30-Nov-12 16:45:06

I'm jab happy, stick me with anything is my motto! Was first in the queue for the Swine Flu jab last pregnancy blush
I have a horror of Flu, and Whooping Cough sounds even more scary . . . BUT no one has offered me either so far (am 25 weeks) - will be ringing the GP on Monday to book myself in for both smile

Chislemum Fri 30-Nov-12 17:22:14

ha, noone mentioned them to me (had DS in August). I would have them.

I'm 31 weeks pregnant and I've had both of them, worst side effect I had was feeling like I had been punched in the arm after my WC for a few days. Get them, it's not worth the risk.

DyeInTheEar Fri 30-Nov-12 18:29:07
Suze77 Fri 30-Nov-12 18:46:12

I don't understand this because surely most mom's-to-be had whooping cough when they were kids and so have natural immunity to pass on to their babies?

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

sorry about stray apotrophe in above post!

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

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

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

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

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

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

(That comment addressed to suze77 btw.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am 25 weeks pregnant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'm not sure why this is.

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

Yes do have both

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks anyone who can advise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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