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AIBU to think that there may be many women who will not get the whooping cough vaccine?

(59 Posts)
CrapBag Fri 28-Sep-12 22:31:12

Just seen the news about there being a vaccine for pregnant women.

Also been reading some of the other thread and find there are people who don't want to vaccinate their children.

This is a new vaccine so I am thinking that women will be reluctant to get it when they are pregnant. I myself wasn't sure about the swine flu one but I did get it when I was pregnant with DD.

I hope women do the sensible thing. Seeing that baby was heartbreaking and in the South West alone cases have risen to well over 800 this year. sad

honeytea Fri 28-Sep-12 22:34:00

I am really worried because it is not going to be given where I live (Sweden) but I will be visiting the UK when our baby is 3/4 months old.

I wonder if I ask my Dr to give it to me they will.

It is NOT a new vaccine.
It is the same vaccine as currently 3 year olds are offered (incl diphteria/tetanus/polio).

Due to the upsurge in whooping cough in the last several months, it will now be offered to pregnant women, hoping that they can pass on some immunity to their babies until they get their first vaccination at 2 months of age.

I just wish there had been some information to us GPs about it before this was announced on the news... I currently know as much about it as anybody else, but have already had the first worried phone calls today. No idea who is to vaccinate, when, where and with what vaccine supplies.

Ah, well, good communication, eh?

I am done with having babies grin, but would certainly take this vaccine. I have seen a fair amount of adult whooping cough and it is misery. It's not called the '100 day cough' for nothing - at least it is not as dangerous to adults than babies.

CrapBag Fri 28-Sep-12 22:39:42

Ahh, I thought I heard it described as a new vaccine. So old vaccine but new to pregnant women.

Goldmandra Fri 28-Sep-12 22:48:24

PacificDogwood is sooooo right!

I had whooping cough at Easter and still have a couple of coughing fits a day. It is a vile disease and the only reason anyone has ever had to call paramedics out for me.

I'd be happy to testify to any pregnant woman how worthwhile a vaccination would be for herself, never mind her baby. I wish I'd had the chance of a vaccination - I don't think I'll ever need one now!!

SarahStratton Sat 29-Sep-12 01:00:39

Pacific is not wrong.

DD2 has been ill since 5th August with whooping cough. That's when she became obviously ill, prior to that she had been off colour for about a week - 8 days.

It's now the end of September, and I am still up all night with a whooping, choking, coughing, vomiting 15 year old, who also has chronic asthma and is struggling to breathe. It is Hell, she has been so ill with it, and DD1 and I have it too.

She is unlikely to be able to return to school for at least another 2-3 weeks. She's just started her GCSEs and is already half a term behind.

Whooping Cough sucks.

BrittaPerry Sat 29-Sep-12 01:13:00

My sister was two when she ot it, and spent a winter coughing and randomly vmiting. Poor child was miserable :-(

ElaineBenes Sat 29-Sep-12 02:58:36

Part of the problem with vaccines is that they can be the victims of their own success. People forget how awful these diseases are. Unfortunately, since this new step is in response to an increase in whooping cough, I think uptake may be better than with the mmr for eg. Diseases averted isn't a headline, babies actually dying of whooping cough is.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 29-Sep-12 03:22:02

I got whooping cough when I was 5 (I wasnt vaccinated because there was a scare at the time about the vaccine causing brain damage- this is back in the 70's).

It permanently damaged one of my vocal chords. The impact has improved with age (As a child, I used to start speaking and nothing would come out orI would squeak- that doesnt happen any more. I just have a very deep, gravelly voice) I've kind of grown into it now, but it was very odd on a 6 year old (cue: lots of teasing at school, especially when the Frog Chorus was at No 1. God I hated that song). ENT specialist said if the damage had been worse, I could have been left with fairly incomprehensible speech which obviously would have impacted me massively throughout life.

I think if I lived in the UK I'd probably have the vaccine when pregnant as the thought of a tiny baby getting it is just too horrific.

deleted203 Sat 29-Sep-12 03:38:46

Why has your DD2 got whooping cough, Sarah? (Not a criticism at all). I'm just wondering if she wasn't vaccinated as a child, because I thought all children were with the dip/tetanus/whooping cough at about 8 weeks with further boosters. Did she miss out on these - or is it possible to catch whooping cough despite vaccination? confused

Psammead Sat 29-Sep-12 04:00:39

I wish it were 100 days. To this day whenever I get a cough, I whoop. I can barely shout. My voice is very quiet and I think the whooping cough is what did it.

ElaineBenes Sat 29-Sep-12 04:19:53

Sowornout
Unfortunately it is possible to catch wc even after being vaccinated (and also if youve had it before -immunity is not for life). The vaccine used today has less side effects than the old one but it seems that effectiveness is wearing off much Faster than expected. It is more effective against severe wc so you're less likely to die or have long term effects but you can still get it and spread it (although you're still less likely to get it than someone who hasn't been vaccinated)

SarahStratton Sat 29-Sep-12 04:31:28

Both DDs have had every vaccination offered to them. Unfortunately, both DDs are too old to have been given the pre-school booster. And we now know that the vaccine wears off. The current epidemic is mostly hitting people of DD2's age upwards.

Even actually having WC doesn't confer lifetime immunity. And it is being massively under diagnosed, the woman from the HPA said they are hearing over and over that a grandparent has diagnosed it, after its been missed by the GP. DD2 was told in hospital that it was asthma after she'd been diagnosed by our HP.

deleted203 Sat 29-Sep-12 05:22:48

Thanks Elaine and Sarah. I'm really sorry to hear about your daughter - hope she recovers as soon as possible. It sounds horrendous. I have daughters (and sons) in late teens. Should I be looking into re-vaccination do you think?

tholeon Sat 29-Sep-12 06:29:26

Does anyone know if it is possible to get private whooping cough vacs for adults anywhere? This scares me as my three year old has a condition which means he gets a nasty cough with pretty much any cold, and we also have a baby. Both fully vaccinated but I would get dh and I done as well at the mo if poss to lessen the chances of passing this on to them as much as poss.

BenjiAndTheTigers Sat 29-Sep-12 06:31:48

For the past three years we have been vaccinating everyone who will come in contact with the new baby. i.e. grandparents, carers, older siblings etc.

The government in it's wisdom has now stated that to obtain the free vaccination, new mums must be vaccinated in hospital or at their GP shortly after baby's birth.

We just ordered heaps in so we can continue vaccinating all family members fo free.

lovestodaydream Sat 29-Sep-12 07:12:31

My DS caught whooping cough at 1.5yrs old, despite having had routine vaccinations. It was horrendous - God knows what it would have been like without a base cover of the jabs. It lasted for 4 months and even now if he gets a cold DH and I live in terror that it will hit his chest. Took months for him to be able to run around with his friends without collapsing wheezing, and I am definitely neurotic about his diet, sleeping and resting because of it. He has had a normal cold this week (now nearly 3yrs old) but even that means that at night when any mucous pools in his chest during sleep he wakes up coughing and vomits everywhere. The worst thing is he just says 'oh dear I done a sick, never mind' because he's so used to it:-(. I'm now due next week with DS2 and am desperate to get the vaccination before delivery myself. Get it if you can, the reality of living with a killer disease in your home is truly terrifying.

WofflingOn Sat 29-Sep-12 07:30:21

I think the OP is correct and a huge number of women won't get the vaccine through concerns for their unborn, and others because they don't see the need and they are convinced that it won't happen to them or their child.
Until the risks are seen as overwhelming, there will be a significant cohort that will resist and the spread of whooping cough will continue.

OddGoldBoots Sat 29-Sep-12 07:37:03

I'm wondering if it would be wrong for me (non-pregnant) to contact my GP to ask about getting the jab, I work in a pre-school and have a brother with a seriously impaired immune system - I would feel so awful if I gave him this, it is very likely to kill him if he got it.

WofflingOn Sat 29-Sep-12 08:07:33

It is never wrong to ask something, the GP will advise you and either way you will be better informed than you were.

I'm 39 weeks so won't get it. Pacific given that I'll be breastfeeding is there any sense in trying to get the vaccine so I can pass on some protection in my breastmilk? I've been looking online to see if this is something that's been discussed but can't see anything about it...

furrygoldone Sat 29-Sep-12 08:38:03

DS2 is 8 days old and I was wondering the same thing as Longtalljosie. DH had WC as a child and says it was awful, he got it because there was a scare story around at that time so his mum didn't vaccinate, it also took ages to diagnose him as no one thought it could be WC.

StrawberryMojito Sat 29-Sep-12 08:46:43

It can't do any harm to ask Oddgoldboots. Would your brother not be able to get the vaccine himself or would his condition prevent it?

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 29-Sep-12 13:11:33

I had whooping cough when I was 10 and it was terrible, I was ill for months, coughing, vomiting etc. I had been vaccinated as a baby but my younger brother hadn't because there had been a health scare (1970s).

Sods law that I got it and he didn't!!! My immune system is crap though - I had chickenpox badly at 7 but when my immunity was tested in pregnancy (dd had cp) I had no immunity and had to be given antibodies!!!

blonderthanred Sat 29-Sep-12 13:23:58

From what I read, pg women 38+ weeks and still have the vaccine so as to pass on antibodies via breastmilk and also cut the risk of the mother catching & passing it on to the baby.

Amazed to read how many women like me who were born in the 70s had wh cough after the vaccine scare. I thought I was just unlucky but it shows how quickly it can spread just from a short period of people not being vaccinated.

I'm happy to have it but it's crazy that the info was publicised on the news before GPs and hospitals were given the full logistical info.

ElaineBenes Sat 29-Sep-12 14:00:37

Long tall josie

I'd get it and make sure everyone in my hiusehold has it so that you can create a cocoon of safety around the newborn.

ohtowinthelottery Sat 29-Sep-12 17:45:01

oddgoldboots DH has recently had Whooping cough. We don't know if he was vaccinated as a child because we are not sure if the vaccine was around then (he is 50). Our DD has a condition which means she is extremely vulnerable to infection and DH works with adults who are vulnerable too. By the time DH had his diagnosis confirmed by the GP he was already past the infectious stage. Thankfully, noone that DH has been in contact with appears to have caught it (including me - and I have closest contact!) - and they would have been showing symptoms by now.
It took nearly 3 weeks after seeing the GP for blood test results to come through and confirm the diagnosis.
No-one in DH's immediate circle was offered either a vaccination or the appropriate antibiotics although we did alert everyone who was vulnerable and they were told to have a very low tolerance level for seeing their GP over any cough and get treatment immediately.

MummytoKatie Sat 29-Sep-12 18:33:18

I guess I will be offered it as I've just found out I'm pregnant. I was also pregnant during the swine flu scare.

I decided against the swine flu vaccine (various reasons mainly that I wasn't convinced of the safety of the vaccine as it was so new, it seemed that the vaccine was more to protect me than dd and I would prefer to take risks with me than her, the midwife didn't seem convinced it was a good idea (she kept telling me it was my decision and she couldn't advise but she advised about a lot of ither
Stuffbtht was also technicallymy decision) and (the real clincher) the day my letter was sent out there was major snowfall in the city I lived in and the combination of the snow and Xmas meant the letter took a month to get to me. On the day it arrived the main news headline was "swine flu threat over").

However, I plan to get the whooping cough one.

Goldmandra Sat 29-Sep-12 18:46:32

Congratulations MummyToKatie! thanks

CrapBag Sat 29-Sep-12 19:35:46

Congratulations MummytoKatie.

I'm really glad to hear that so many people would have it and I am also surprised at some many people having experiences of it. I have never known anyone to have it but maybe its my age range.

I think showing that video of that poor baby to any pregnant woman would be enough to get them to have it anyway. I can't get it out of my head. sad

Ok, I was at work today and had a look at the email we got from Public Health. At 2.16pm. After it had been all over the breakfast news hmm...

Anyhoo, it just confirms that the vaccine is to be offered to all pregnant women between 28 and 38 weeks. The purpose is to allow for maternal antibodies to develop in time for the neonate to benefit from them until they get vaccinated themselves at 2 months of age.
No guidance on who is to vaccinate, where additional vaccine stocks are to come from, where vaccination will take place, who (if any) additional funding will be available to do all this. hmm again.

I don't know about private vaccination. The vaccine affords about 85-90% protection and, like having the actual illness, does not afford life long protection. Although having been vaccinated once is likely to make the illness less severe if caught later on.

More advice about whooping cough here.

I had whooping cough from about 20 weeks pregnant with DS2 and coughed som much that to this day my dad swears that I shoogled him loose grin (he was delivered at 31 weeks due to placenta praevia). I still shudder at the memory - it was horrible. And did horrible things to my poor pelvic floor blush.
Stratters, I hope your DD gets better quicker. I read your initial threads about her, but had nothing to add x.

SarahStratton Sat 29-Sep-12 22:07:58

Thank you Pacific. I've been reading the news about the whooping cough epidemic as it's unfolded, and been horrified. It's such a horrid disease, and my pelvic floor has not stood up to the test either. Not at all. sad

LadyKooKoo Sat 29-Sep-12 22:25:52

Congratulations MummytoKatie. The flu jab now includes protection against swine flu and is not just a swine flu jab. I had flu whilst pregnant and it was horrendous, I would urge you to reconsider this time round.

LimeLeafLizard Sat 29-Sep-12 22:35:00

Thanks for this thread, and especially to Pacific for the information. I had vaguely noticed this in the news but this has answered many of my questions.

I am 21 weeks and will be asking for the vaccine when I reach 28 weeks if still relevant then, though I had it myself as a little child in the late 70s (I think).

Sarah how are you feeling now?

Sidge Sun 30-Sep-12 08:57:23

Pacific I left work at 1800 Friday and we still hadn't heard anything regarding vaccine supplies, who to vaccinate or when (I'm a practice nurse)

I find it so frustrating that the public are informed via the media about getting vaccinated yet those of us that will be giving the vaccines are told nothing angry

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Sep-12 09:01:23

Goldmandra - I hate to break it to you but you can have whooping cough twice. At least I've been diagnosed with it twice, years apart. Wasn't as ill the 2nd time as the 1st but still bad.

Goldmandra Sun 30-Sep-12 09:36:36

Oh Viva surely not shock

I know there are worse things to be diagnosed with but once in a lifetime is definitely enough for me!

I was told that my blood test showed exceptionally high levels of what I assume are antibodies (is that what they test for?) so I can only hope my immune system will be well primed for future infections.

If it's normal to catch it more than once wouldn't that prevent vaccinations from working?

VivaLeBeaver Sun 30-Sep-12 09:41:59

I think the immunity either natural or from a vaccine wears off after a number of years. I think I was about 8 years inbetween bouts.

I just googled to make sure 2nd dr wasn't wrong and google says you can get it more than once.

alistron1 Sun 30-Sep-12 09:48:28

AFAIK immunity conferred by the vaccine does wear off as we/kids get older and indeed if you actually contract whooping cough. However 10+ years ago this wasn't a problem because of herd immunity. Now, because of poor vaccine uptake over recent years, herd immunity is compromised and thus we are seeing the return of whooping cough.

It isn't a 'mild' illness at all is it? I feel so sorry for people who have contracted it recently. It sounds awful.

If I were pregnant I'd be getting that vaccine.

Goldmandra Sun 30-Sep-12 10:01:10

It's a shame that we have the technology to prevent people from catching these diseases but misinformation leads enough people to refuse vaccination that we end up with epidemics.

I don't suppose this vaccination programme will be enough to protect many people apart from babies. If I ran a large firm I think I'd be buying the vaccine in for my employees. You could lose a lot through sickness if it went round an office.

firstaider Mon 01-Oct-12 08:21:33

I have just written an article explaining what whooping cough is and how to recognise it http://www.firstaidforlife.org.uk/blog/ this may be helpful to understand what a nasty bug it is.

The vaccine is tried and tested and 9 new born babies have died from Whooping Cough this year.

meditrina Mon 01-Oct-12 08:31:33

Does anyone know if there is consideration for a catch up programme for all adults who were not vaccinated with the old vaccine in the 70/80s? Surly this would be a good step to reduce the level of the disease circulating in the community?

CailinDana Mon 01-Oct-12 08:34:31

I haven't heard anything about this and I'm not seeing the MW again for another month (I'm 20 weeks). Do you reckon I should contact her about it?

DinosaursOnASpaceship Mon 01-Oct-12 08:46:01

I think I will have the vaccine (22 weeks pregnant) mainly because I was chatting yesterday to a relative who works for an nhs trust who was telling me that whopping cough had reached pandemic levels and that the number of young babies and children that were being bought in with it was rising. We are also getting ds3 vaccinated - we were holding off on his 12 month jabs as we wanted his immune system to develope a bit more etc - he was going to have them seperately at 18 months (he's 15 months now) but am making him an appointment at the GP today to get them done.

If you are currently pregnant it is my understanding that there is little point in getting the vaccine early ie before 28 weeks because the main purpose is to pass on antibodies to the newborn. You will of course also have protection from it.

Re children's immune systems: there is no doubt that v young babies' immune systems are immature and different to ours. Deciding at what age to offer which vaccine is always a weighing of risk vs benefit. That is why some vaccinations are offered younger than others.

Whoever said upthread that we (as a population) have forgotten how devestating some of the infectious illnesses were in the past, was spot on: I have been a GP for 20 years, I have never seen a case of measles for instance (and I am quite happy to keep it that way). However, in recent years there have been measles outbreaks again and deaths (in Ireland iirc, and Soutwest of England, were the vaccination uptake rates have been the lowest).

And that's 'just' measles. Polio, anyone??

Oh sorry, and no plans of a catch-up AFAIK (but then again I did not know anything about this on Friday morning...).

Trazzletoes Bosnia-Herzegovina Mon 01-Oct-12 09:18:22

I'm not pregnant but had whooping cough a few years ago. It was officially undisguised as I couldn't cough in front of the Dr, but I was whooping, coughing myself sick and it lasted for months. If I were pregnant I would most definitely be getting the vaccine.

Sidge Mon 01-Oct-12 09:21:57

Dinosaurs your son won't be receiving pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine at 12-18 months, he'll be due his Hib/Men C booster, pneumococcal booster and first MMR. All still worth getting IMO but just wanted to say in case you hadn't realised he wouldn't be getting a WC booster.

Pacific I nursed a 15 year old girl when I was a student nurse who had measles encephalitis - she was profoundly brain damaged sad - it has stayed with me since (so 20 years ago now) and was a factor in making my decision to give my daughters their MMR.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 20:42:55

"This is a new vaccine"

OP, it is NOT a new vaccine. It is Repevax, a product licensed for children's booster jabs at school age.

It is NOT licensed for pregnant women, and the EMC product information specifically says that it shouldnt be used in pregnant women.

I hope to goodness there ARE pregnant women who do not get this. Lord knows what it will do to them and their unborn babies, in both the short and long terms.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 20:46:15

what do they plan to do about bordetella parapertussis? It also causes whooping cough, and it is not affected whatsoever by the pertussis vaccine, acellular or whole cell.

CatherinaJTV Germany Mon 01-Oct-12 20:49:14

It'll protect them and their newborns of pertussis, LD. That's what it is going to do with them. It may also give mum a sore arm - mhhh, sore arm, blue baby, sore arm, blue baby - let me think a bit about that.

I told one expecting mum and she is going to ask her GP for it. I am very pleased and will keep talking about the vaccine smile

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 20:59:47

I'm sure you will. You realise it ISNT LICENSED for this, dont you?

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 21:01:35

"mhhh, sore arm, blue baby, sore arm, blue baby - let me think a bit about that."

You really think the worst outcome of catching pertussis is always going to be a "blue baby" (what about milder infections? DD1 probably had it in July, so what?) and that the worst outcome of vaccination is "a sore arm" (you deny vaccine damage??) ?

The arrogance is breathtaking.

Wait, i forgot who i am talking to.

Whereas yours is not, Leonie hmm - the arrogance, that is...

Lots of things are used without licence.
That does not mean they are not safe, simply that a legal hoop has not been jumped through.
I seriously don't get why all vaccination thread go belly up - you don't want to vaccinate, don't.
Of course there are children damages, and sometimes severely, by vaccination. However, there are far, FAR more children NOT damages because of vaccination. It is a numbers game, you are right, and chance can be a right bitch, but IMO the odds are in favour of vaccination.

<shrugs>

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 21:12:23

Unlicensed vaccines being used on pregnant women, and that's just "okay" tothe medical establishment?

Wait, i forgot this was the brainchild of the JCVI. And we all know they'd NEVER recommend anything dangerous. What? urabe strain mumps / MMR? Oh wait, the JCVI said that was fine and dandy to license here in the UK at the exact same time as they knew full well of meningitis in Canada...

Whoops. All those poor children suffered because the JCVI recommended something dangerous.

And now its just "OKAY" for pregnant women to take an unlicensed vaccine cos some commitee says so?

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 21:59:45

I don't know why but somehow I trust a committee of experts more than I do LD and her conspiracy theories.

I'd imagine the reason that they want to now use the vaccine on pregnant women is because they're very concerned about the threat of whooping cough for pregnant women and their newborn babies.

It would be unethical NOT to take action.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 22:09:50

I don't trust them as far as I can spit.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 22:11:21

Conspiracy theory LD? Shares in GSK?

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