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Whooping cough jab - straw poll...

(56 Posts)

Did you have it or not?



TwitchyTail Tue 12-Feb-13 12:33:52

Yes, I had it.

Whooping cough has killed babies and there is a risk to ALL newborns. There is no evidence that the vaccine does any harm whatsoever. Was not a difficult choice for me.

rainand Tue 12-Feb-13 12:39:15

I haven't had mine, I'm still unsure.

I would really like to hear from the people that didn't have it. How did you come to the decision not to have it?

ladymia Tue 12-Feb-13 12:50:52


Benefit outweighed the risks

MiaowTheCat Tue 12-Feb-13 12:53:34

Yes - relative decided to expose us all at Christmas (pursuit of presents more important than germ containment - especially galling when she rolled up and cheerfully announced "We've all got a horrid chest infection but I wanted to bring the kids up to get their presents" as her opening line) so I'd had bloods done confirming I had no immunity whatsoever (thankfully I'd dodged the festive extra gift somehow) as it had been too early to get it done prior to the festive season. Got it based more on preventing ME catching it and passing it to a newborn who's at an increased likelihood of being prem anyway - rather than the whole antibodies being passed on theory.

Paradisefound Tue 12-Feb-13 13:14:58

Yes had mine at 30 weeks. Lots of whooping cough around at the moment. Don't want my baby getting it.

CityDweller Tue 12-Feb-13 13:18:54

No. I read the committee report and asked my GP if they'd had any cases in my surgery (he said no) and I decided against. There's no evidence it actually protects the baby, the jab isn't just for whooping cough, it's not been given to pregnant women before, and there's a chance it make the jabs the baby does have (at 2 months onwards) less effective. I found it very hard to decide one way or another, but for me, the potential risks of the jab outweighed the risks of my baby getting whooping cough and I wasn't comfortable having a vaccine not tested on pregnant women. But I completely understand why people have it. If my GP had said there'd been even one or two cases of whooping cough at my surgery I probably would have had it.

Snowflakepie Tue 12-Feb-13 13:21:41

I will be having it. There is very little risk to baby from the jab and lots of risk from whooping cough. People tend to forget how truly awful these illnesses are because they arise so rarely now. The jab has also been used routinely in other countries for years. This all reassured me.

Swine flu was all over the news when I was expecting DD. I really struggled with that decision as there seemed to be really conflicting information out there. But in the end I had the jab and all was well, and seems to be the case for most people. This time I had the flu jab at 6 weeks when I first went to the gp. Baby seems fine at 22 weeks. Really, unless there was some compelling evidence against it I would have all the jabs going, and the same goes for all the children's jabs too x

peanutMD Tue 12-Feb-13 13:26:04

I had it as I work in a daycare centre and come into contact with lots of babies and various illnesses so I didn't think it was worth the risk as I have seen the effects of whooping cough.

I did sway against it at first though until I had discussed it with my GP and MW and felt that I had enough information to make a proper decision.

TTCmay Tue 12-Feb-13 13:30:00

I'm going to have it when I reach that stage. I have friends who are doctors who know all the risks/benefits and decided to have it themselves- that's enough for me!

lucybrad Tue 12-Feb-13 13:44:35

Im going to have it. I expect if you asked the parents who lost there babies last year to it, before the jab was available, they would be saying the same. I know two people with confirmed whooping cough and one has been seriously ill for months. Someone has to have a special test to have it confirmed. I expect there is a lot of it about. I can show as relatively mild in adults, but can be devasting for babies.

Why risk it? When was the last time anyone heard of anyone dying from a jab?

ChairmanWow Tue 12-Feb-13 13:47:07

Had it at 30 weeks. My sis in law and her baby (who thankfully had already had his first 2 sets of jabs) both had whooping cough last year. They were both hospitalised and she is still recovering 6 months on. It's a horrible illness.

I still think there's a residual paranoia (IMO unfounded, and I'd like to see the medical evidence to the contrary) from that charlatan Andrew Wakefield and the MMR scare - he is directly responsible for deaths and permanent impairment of children from measles. He should have been banged up.

Rant over!

I would have it. There has been a couple of cases near where I live (Aberdeenshire). Wouldn't want to risk it.

eragon Tue 12-Feb-13 13:51:14

cousin brain damaged from whooping cough.

CuppaSarah Tue 12-Feb-13 13:51:44

I decided to have it. I was dead set against it as I didn't want to be part of the first round of women getting it during pregnancy. But my midwife told me it's the exact same injection your baby gets at 2 months. If it's safe for a tiny 2 month old baby, I really don't see how it could be a problem during pregnancy. That said, it's still unnerving having a 'new' type of injection, but the advice changes all the time. Whats the right thing to do now will be the wrong thing in 5 years anyway.

Oodsigma Tue 12-Feb-13 13:53:26

Yes , my mum had WH when I was due the jab so I was at risk anyway.

SeriousStuff Tue 12-Feb-13 13:55:48

I'm going to have it - feel more comfortable doing it seeing I'm not getting it until 28 weeks. If it was in first trimester I might be a bit worried, but having said that, I had my flu jab at 5 weeks!

BonaDea Tue 12-Feb-13 14:02:33

I had it at 30 weeks.

Babies have been dying for the last several months because of an upsurge in cases. They are not protected for the first 8 weeks of life if they come into contact. They have been giving the vaccine to pregnant women in the US for years and no ill side effects have been discovered.

I felt it was a no brainer.

I was pregnant when the swine flu jabs came out last time. I didn't have the swine flu vaccination as I felt it was too new, untested and seemed to be a bit of scare mongering IMO.

I will probably have the whooping cough one though, it has been around longer as pp said its the same vaccination given to young babies so should be safe for pregnant women. The side effects should be well known, and as someone said, it is a horrid illness. Would be nasty if I caught it, but the thought of my newborn getting it is awful.

PP raised an interesting post though about asking her surgery if they had had any confirmed cases of WC. That would be interesting to know for my locality too.

Dogsmom Tue 12-Feb-13 14:50:05

I had it, my MW said it's the same jab that they give to the babies and is fine so I trusted her advice.

I had whooping cough as a baby and although I can't remember it I've been told how seriously ill it made me.

adagio Tue 12-Feb-13 14:54:04

I had the jab last year at about 32 weeks, went full term and baby seems fine (so far!).
Google informed me that whooping cough can only be confirmed / verified if they do a test within a week-ish of contracting it while the bacteria which cause it are still detectable, so I suspect there may be a lot more of it around than has been 'confirmed'.

Anecdotal - My hubby got a really nasty cough when I was a few weeks pregnant, he gasped for breath at the start of each coughing fit…then I got the exact same cough 10 days later, which was strange as a smoker of um about 20 years normally I get phlegmy bronchial coughs but this was totally different (was trying to stop for pregnancy at the time)..I sent him to doctors after about 2 weeks and they said it was a virus so I didn't bother going…I sent him back a few weeks later they said it was a really nasty virus…then a few weeks later I sent him again, and they gave him tablets for acid reflux.

I went to doctors separately about my cough, pointed out hubby had it too, and was also independently given tablets for acid reflux - so two people in the same house who have never had digestive issues suddenly have a cough for many weeks and both have 'acid reflux'? In fairness, the tablets were awesome for heartburn later in pregnancy but still.

In Europe whooping cough is called the 100 day cough. We both shook our cough's about 4 months after first getting them. Oh and I think we gave it to a house guest too (as didn't know we were infectious). My guess is we had whooping cough, but remained un diagnosed, so be cautious at simply asking the docs for how many cases in an area.

Emsyboo Tue 12-Feb-13 14:55:23

Had it at 28 weeks as soon as I could due to risk of prem baby.
It isn't a live vaccine but the booster jab they give pre schoolers it has tetanus and something else can't remember exactly.
The benefits outweighed the cons and at the very least you are protecting yourself when your immunity is down.
There have been cases of WC near me and 12 babies died not to mention ones with permanent lung damage etc.
Just didn't want to risk it.
Whooping cough used to get bad press as had mercury in it which caused fits but this was removed in the late 1980's

rosiedays Tue 12-Feb-13 15:11:01

I'll be having it.
I still remember the sound of one of my sisters friend age 5(in 1985) coughing. it's one of the worst sounds i've ever heard.

Beatrixpotty Tue 12-Feb-13 15:14:45

Had it.No brainier for me.Whopping cough can be fatal in neonates.Didn't want to take that risk.

FoofFighter Tue 12-Feb-13 15:38:47

I will be having it when the time comes.

I remember a girl at school who had WC and it was so nasty, I cold have cried for her. She was left with hearing problems afterwards I recall? Although I was about 7 at the time so that might not be quite accurate there blush

If it's safe for a baby at 8 weeks old then what harm could it do to a 28+ weeker is my view?

Also agree with PP about cases being confirmed, I would imagine that as in most things the confirmed numbers are the tip of the iceberg. Also agree with another PP about the MMR debacle.

purrpurr Tue 12-Feb-13 15:49:02

Would anyone be able to answer a couple of questions?

Firstly, I thought I'd heard (only in the media, not exactly a reputable source, and this is why I'm not googling this) that the percentage of pregnant women having the vaccine had gone through the roof but the cases of whooping cough were rising regardless of this - and I think it was suggested that the vaccine in some way was no longer effective, that the virus/bacteria had developed to be resistant? Did I dream all this?

Secondly, folk are saying this vaccine has been in use in other countries for years. Is the vaccine we are being offered exactly the same vaccine? When I was researching the MMR jab, I found suggestions that several other countries had changed their own vaccines (the strain used in them) years before we did precisely because they found causal evidence of developmental issues, disorders etc. We were the last country to change the strain used in our jab, in a reluctant, dragging-of-heels British sort of way ('you say it causes what? Oh, for Pete's sake. Right, fine. What a waste of a good batch of medicine. Fine.')

rainand Tue 12-Feb-13 16:06:09


Good questions. The answer to the second is that it isn't the exact same vaccine.

purrpurr Tue 12-Feb-13 16:20:04

rain I wonder why that is. It's always so reassuring to hear that other countries are issuing vaccines that we've been a bit upset about because of the media uproar - of course I'm sure other countries have their own media fairies going mad about vaccines we're probably fine with. It's not quite as reassuring when it turns out we're not dishing out the same vaccines as other countries. I have no medical knowledge whatsoever, so I would not know if, in a rather crap analogy, we were issuing vaccines made out of jam and other countries were issuing marmalade, but we all called it the same thing.

The fact that there is a live page on the government's website devoted to those who need to claim for disabilities or disorders following a vaccine disturbs me slightly, also. It's like if you don't immediately Do The Right Thing you're an irresponsible lentil-weaving idiot.

MaMaPo Tue 12-Feb-13 16:24:36

OP, I had it at about 32 weeks with no ill-effects and a healthy baby.

She'll be getting her own vaccination for WC this week.

I would go for it, both for yours and baby's health, and for the sake of herd immunity.

rainand Tue 12-Feb-13 16:31:02

Lars on page http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/whooping-cough-vaccination-pregnant.aspx#patient (in comments) asks some good questions, which I'd like to see the answer to:

1. What is the efficacy of pre-natally administered Revepax?
2. Is there any published safety data on pre-natal Revepax?
3. is there any published safety data on pre-natal Tdap (the USA vaccine)
4. if a pregnant mother has the antibodies (from a previous vaccination or illness) does Revepax confer any additional protection?

Why not publish all the data used by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation when making this recommendation?

twinklesparkles Tue 12-Feb-13 17:22:26


To protect ny child until their 8 week jab

DeathMetalMum Tue 12-Feb-13 17:42:22

I had it. I know of children in the area who have/had whooping cough in the last 6 months. Dp also had it when he was younger.

I tried to book my appointment right in the middle of the reccomended time. Though ended up slightly earlier.

DeathMetalMum Tue 12-Feb-13 17:52:28

purrpurr The number of whopping cough cases in December was half in comparison to November.

So it seems the jab may be having an effect.


noblegiraffe Tue 12-Feb-13 17:54:38

There is no efficacy or safety data because the vaccine hasn't been trialled on pregnant women.

However, we do know that antibodies that the mother makes in response to the whooping cough vaccine cross the placenta and it is thought that this would confer protection on the baby, as this is how it works with other antibodies.

The Repevax vaccine is the one being given because babies are dying and it is the only whopping cough vaccine available right now in the UK in sufficient quantities to vaccinate pregnant women as well as the children scheduled to have it.

3 of the 4 vaccines contained in Repevax have been given to pregnant women in the US for over a year. Polio hasn't been administered on a wide scale however it has been given to pregnant women who have needed it (e.g. for travel) without problems.

None of the vaccines in Repevax are live, they don't contain live polio, whooping cough etc. From what we know about how dead vaccines work, it just doesn't make any sense that they could harm an unborn baby, and no dead vaccine has been shown to cause any problems in pregnant women.

I had the vaccine.

TheCountessOlenska Tue 12-Feb-13 18:03:53

I had it, and the flu jab at the same time in my other arm!

I had the controversial swine flu jab last time I was pregnant so this seemed tame in comparison grin

Best not to over think these things in my opinion.

Lamazeroo Tue 12-Feb-13 18:18:53

I wouldn't have it. First, I really, really object to it being referred to as 'the whooping cough jab' when pertussis is just one of the diseases contained in the vaccination. No one has ever examined the effect of vaccinating pregnant women against five pathogens at once.
My second concern is that it's experimental. I don't know about you but I don't appreciate effectively being a guinea pig. There is no evidence that pertussis antibodies generated by immunisation cross the placenta.
And lastly, there is theoretical concern that it may interfere with vaccine uptake in the first few months of life.
I'll watch for the results of the experiment (because that's what it is) but at the moment I'm very wary. Also, the current wave of whooping cough diagnoses is NOT due to lack of immunisation. Vaccination rates for whooping cough have never been higher. More than 90% of diagnosed cases are occurring in individuals who have been vaccinated. Plus, the Australian experiment of cocoon vaccines proved ineffective.

KelleStar Tue 12-Feb-13 18:19:34

I have had it @ 28 weeks. Though not at my surgery, there have been 4 deaths in my PCT and know someone who's 9mo DD was hospitalised with it.

RubyrooUK Tue 12-Feb-13 18:25:24

I had the WC vaccine. I had WC very seriously as a baby myself and almost died so I was keen not to risk that happening to my own child.

As someone said, they give the same vaccine to very young babies so I feel that absorbing it into my system and passing it to the baby that way is reasonably safe.

Is it truly effective? I have no idea. But having almost died from WC myself, I'd rather have the vaccine any day if there is a good chance (or indeed any chance) that it offers my baby protection. Since I apparently have no immunity left from WC - which seems VERY UNFAIR - the vaccine was the right choice for me.

rainand Tue 12-Feb-13 18:26:03

Lamazeroo, that's an interesting perspective.

I have had the whooping cough almost throughout my pregnancy (I'm now 25 weeks), does this mean my body has already produced anti-bodies for it and therefore there is no need to have the jab?

noblegiraffe Tue 12-Feb-13 18:49:27

There is no evidence that pertussis antibodies generated by immunisation cross the placenta

Yes there is. Do you think they'd be doing this massive vaccination programme in the UK and US if they didn't know this?!

noblegiraffe Tue 12-Feb-13 18:58:48

Rain, it's advised that you still have the vaccine to maximise antibody transfer. Antibody transfer is minimal till about 34 weeks, so the vaccine is timed so that the peak of antibodies generated by the vaccine coincides with the best time for maximum antibody transfer.
You would still transfer some antibodies, but obviously the more, the better chance of protecting your baby.

OpenMindedSceptic Fri 15-Feb-13 15:29:01

Due to have WC jab next week but still undecided confused

Ellypoo Fri 15-Feb-13 16:00:38

Yes and I don't know why anyone would risk their baby's health by not having it.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Fri 15-Feb-13 16:04:26

Had mine today.
Read everything available. Have medical background but wouldn't have all vaccines (didn't have swine flu jab in last pg).
This is an inactive vaccine. The risk is really incredibly low. In the end if I'd not had it and my baby was permanently damaged from whooping cough I'd never forgive myself. The risk of that seemed higher than the risk from the jab.
My arm aches but no regrets.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 15-Feb-13 17:05:23

Out of interest HP - why this and not the swine flu jab? I thought they were all inactive (if offered to pregnant women) and also I thought that it was the other ingredients in the vaccine (eg. mercury) that concerned people, not the actual disease being injected iyswm? Prepared to be corrected as I really know very little about it - just do what I'm told by HPs smile

lucybrad Fri 15-Feb-13 18:29:57

I find it a little bit hmm when it is mentioned that the swine flu incident was 'just a bit of scaremongering'. Again many of healthy adults and children died in britain from this!

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Fri 15-Feb-13 19:06:23

countess, with my logical head I knew it was low risk, but it was right at the start of offering the vaccine to pregnant women, and at first it was only the one with mercury that was available. I looked at the base materials and wasn't happy. Wasn't worried about the swine flu bit itself.
I did subsequently have the jab following pregnancy and had the flu jab this time with the swine flu component. Better made now.
It was an incredibly difficult choice with my first pregnancy and with hindsight I shouldn't have worried. But you make your choice with the best intentions.

Crazytictac Fri 15-Feb-13 20:15:28

I was very undecided and still wasn't entirely comfortable having it, but did have the jab this week at 31 weeks.

On the HPA website, the total number of baby deaths has risen to 14 (although the numbers contracting it are decreasing). Having no medical knowledge, I put my faith in those that do and who are advising it including all the top bodies. That said, I do understand why some women won't have the jab and was very much on the fence myself for months.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 15-Feb-13 20:28:43

HP fair enough - I worried about having it too but my horror of flu outweighed my concerns blush The Whooping Cough jab I have no concerns about though as they give it to little babies anyway.

I had it. I'm a great believer in vaccines, they protect us and help control the spread of disease. If my baby died from WC (not a completely unrealistic worry given the high rates where I live) I would never forgive myself. I would also never get over it.

Chocaholics Fri 15-Feb-13 21:42:04

I had the vaccine. I had WC as a child and was ill for months. It was a horrible diease and I wouldn't want my newborn baby contracting it if I could do anything to prevent it.

badguider Fri 15-Feb-13 21:57:21

I will have it. When I was a child there was a wc vaccine scare and some children weren't vaccinated. One little girl I knew nearly died from it sad

I've had the triple vaccine for hep, dipth and polio regularly for travel with absolutely no side effects to me. I have no reason to think it will be dangerous for my baby via me.

goshua Sat 16-Feb-13 01:45:14

wish there was a vacine when i were a babe. I got WC was 18 months remember it vivid today coughed and burst my lungs rember lying in a pool of blood, my older sister found me , lucky too survive spent 4 years recovering in
hospital miles from home, lungs are still scared like diving but not allowed too.
Got scarlet fever in the hospital extended my stay slightly.

So I called the surgery to make my appointment to have the vaccination today, there weren't many appointments available so is sled the receptionist if there was a time limit as to when you should have it... She went away and asked a medical person and came back and said you could have it up to six weeks post birth blush I thought the whole point of it was to have it whilst pregnant do that the mother passes antibodies onto the unborn child?! Apologies for my ignorance but I was a little stumped.
Made an appt for when I'm 35 weeks anyway, am currently 30. because I didn't trust what the receptionist said

space21 Mon 18-Feb-13 19:26:46

I live in France and will be having it after the birth. My husband had to have it during my pregnancy as a matter of course.

Dillydollydaydream Tue 19-Feb-13 10:51:44

I'm 25wks and will be having it when I'm further along, my understanding is that it not a live vaccine. I haven't had the flu jab though as I wasn't sure about that one. Still weighing it up.

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