Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Whooping cough vaccine while pregnant, worrying?

(123 Posts)
Keznel Tue 21-May-13 22:19:05

Just wondering if anyone else feeling reluctant to get the whooping cough vaccination now recommended for 28-38wks pregnant? I'm currently 20wks and really concerned about getting it, but guess I have plenty of time to make my mind up yet confused. I had DD in the peak of a whooping cough epidemic back (last year) when it wasn't offered to pregnant women! She thankfully was fine and got her own vaccinations at 8wks etc Just wondering if I'm alone in stressing about this? Or should I just do as I'm told and get it?

Lollypop1983 Tue 21-May-13 22:21:44

I was worried about getting vaccine, but got both whooping cough, and flu vaccine, and now have a healthy 7 week old boy

healthfreakanna Thu 23-May-13 18:57:28

I'm currently trying to decide whether to have the whooping vaccine whilst pregnant too!
I have a written a blog post to help me get all the facts down and help me to decide:

I've got a few weeks yet before I need to make up my mind.

It seems that tetanus and diptheria are known to be safe vaccines in pregnancy, and the polio vaccine is thought to be safe, however the pertussis vaccine in pregnancy remains untested.
In the short term a pertussis vaccine in pregnancy program has been ongoing in the USA for almost 2 years now and several months here in the UK, so you would hope that if there had been serious adverse events that these programs would have been halted before now.

There is an issue of the efficacy of the vaccine used in this way and also of blunting the effects of the 8 week vaccinations, however it is deemed that these far outweigh the benefits of possible protection in these first few weeks of life.

Circaea Thu 23-May-13 19:19:22

From my perspective the risk of not having it is too large, given the current high incidence of whooping cough and the very real danger of it killing an unvaccinated baby (I'm weighing up risk of death against risk of less serious complications, with a relatively low probability for both but one outcome so much worse). So I'm going to have it.

And I read this, which I know is the emotional rather than rational side of the argument, but it terrified me.

LittleJack15 Fri 24-May-13 09:42:23

I had whooping cough vaccine and now have a lovely 10 week old boy.

badguider Fri 24-May-13 09:46:59

I will be having it. All medical proceedures and medicines are the balance of risk against benefit. The consequences of WC to a newborn is huge, and the likelihood of catching it at the moment is not negligible.

On the other hand, I didn't bother with a flu jab as the consequences of flu in an otherwise healthy pregnant woman are not that awful and the likelihood of me catching it is low (I have had flu once in my life).

badguider Fri 24-May-13 09:53:01

Also, although the vaccine is 'untested' on pregnant women to generate antibodies for the baby in utero, there are no known contraindications or reasons why there should be any danger. The vaccine is given to very young babies anyway.
The vaccine will remain 'untested' until a large number of women have it, and while I wouldn't agree to be a tester if there was no risk of my newborn catching WC or if there was an alternative way to minimise the risk of WC but there's not. It's this or nothing. And I know what the consequences of nothing can be. And it's worse than any reported consequence of this.

Keznel Sat 25-May-13 22:23:24

I hear what you are all saying and reading all comments certainly sways me in the direction of having it. But, the risk of a new born getting whooping cough comes from adolescents and adults (whose immunity from vaccination has run out), other babies and children will have been vaccinated well any coming into contact with my new born will have been! So surely if I ask anyone displaying symptoms to stay away until the baby has had it's own vaccinations. Plus whooping cough epidemic seems to go in 3-4 yearly cycles, last year being a peak year so in theory it shouldn't be as prevelant this year? Also I dunno if the whooping cough vaccine contains thimerosal (mercury) or not, have tried searching for info on this but haven't come up with much.

bigkidsdidit Sat 25-May-13 22:26:43

it is very prevalent this year.

the vaccine has been given to pregnant women in the states for a while with no problems.

bigkidsdidit Sat 25-May-13 22:28:28

I had it, btw, 8 weeks ago. It;s just too big a risk not to.

noblegiraffe Sat 25-May-13 22:30:10

No, it doesn't contain mercury.

It will also protect you against whooping cough. What if you were to get it? You wouldn't want to have to stay away from your own baby.

redwellybluewelly Sat 25-May-13 22:34:33

I have a daughter at pre school, she is fully vaccinated but not all of her peers are. Its about community immunity and I think the current risk is higher than it has been, hence I had the WC vaccine. Especially as WC has hospitalised several newborns in our area in the last year.

I didn't have the flu vaccine this time, nor the swine flu vaccine last time. I felt the body of evidence to show increased risk of infection and also evidence base of the WC vaccine being safe combined to reduce my concerns.

Sidge Sat 25-May-13 22:35:04

The vaccine offered to pregnant women is Repevax

It does not contain thiomersal.

Keznel Sat 25-May-13 22:36:20

I honestly don't think it is prevelant where I live I work in health care and have done for 13years, I have yet to come into contact with anyone (professionally or personally) who has had whooping cough. I still have plenty of time to decide and am still very much on the fence at the moment. I will see my consultant at 24weeks and will quiz her about it in great detail!

redwellybluewelly Sat 25-May-13 22:52:48

You can only make the decisions based on the information you have at the time.if its the right decision for you then that's that.

I made a decision once, it almost cost my DD her life, I will carry the guilt until the end of my days and yet looking back I made the decision I felt was right at that time with the knowledge I had

sjuperyoni Sat 25-May-13 23:07:18

I've had my flu jab at 8 weeks when confirming the pregnancy eith doc, she offered to do it then or wait for the midwife appt i didn't see the point in putting it off.

I'll be getting my whooping cough vaccine soon it's just too dangerous not too imo.

Keznel Sun 26-May-13 07:27:21

I totally understand the point of view that getting the vaccine is a no-brainer. However, I'm one of those people who doesn't dye my hair, use fake tan, aerosols, and certainly don't entertain any medication of any sort when pregnant! I do know a lot of people who carry on while pregnant as they did pre pregnancy, but not me. I do not like the thoughts of taking a vaccine that is in its infancy in use in pregnant women, no one knows for sure the long term side effects to the baby as it hasn't been used for long enough! I feel like I'm being experimented on sad. I get that the majority of responses say get it, I guess I'll remain, with my doubts, in the minority for another while yet.

noblegiraffe Sun 26-May-13 09:27:32

But it's nothing like fake tan confused the vaccine is for your baby's benefit, to try to stop them dying of whooping cough before they are old enough to be fully vaccinated themselves. To compare it to dyeing your hair is just silly.

The reason the vaccine has been introduced in pregnancy is because babies have been dying, and the health agencies are trying to stop that happening.

Keznel Sun 26-May-13 15:46:42

I'm not comparing it to dying my hair! Thankfully I am not that naive, as I work in health care I have a good basis of medical knowledge, I feel there are many cons to getting the injection as well as pros read healthfreakanna's blog in pp. I am reluctant to introduce chemicals and viruses into my body! I have back problems but stopped all meds the minute I knew I was pregnant. No one can give me a 100% gaurantee that it will not have any short term, or long term affects on my baby, so forgive me for not rushing to get it without some thought and research first! There are also no gaurantees that it will give the baby 100% immunity or that that immunity (if any) will last for the 8weeks that it is required. I want to do what's best for my baby I am not worried about myself in any shape or form I would walk over hot coals if I was given enough evidence to say its good for the baby!

Keznel Sun 26-May-13 21:03:23

Reading a wee bit more thought I'd share some facts of what the vaccine Repevax contains. It is not just whooping cough it contains a total of 7 diseases diptheria, tetanus, 3 types of polio, and 2 types of whooping cough. it also contains: Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 80, aluminium phosphate, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, streptomycin, neomycin, polymyxin B and bovine serum albumin. Scary list that of course is present in most vaccines. The one that worry me most on that list for potential harm to my baby is aluminium. Little research has been done into its effects but its know to be toxic to the brain and central nervous system. And finally a little comment from the vaccines manufacturers “The effect of REPEVAX on embryo-foetal development has not been assessed. [...] The use of this combined vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy.”

noblegiraffe Sun 26-May-13 21:23:50

Aluminium is in most food too!

Vaccine manufacturers saying it's not recommended for use during pregnancy just means that clinical trials haven't been conducted on pregnant women, not that there's actually any evidence of adverse effects.

Tabitha8 Sun 26-May-13 21:32:57

Surely if a pg lady asks for a WC vaccine, that is what she will get? Not a jab against polio, etc, etc, as well?

Presumably, there is no evidence of any adverse effects as it hasn't actually been tested for the set of circumstances now being discussed?

Tabitha8 Sun 26-May-13 21:38:11

Incidentally, there was an entire thread devoted to aluminium and how the body deals with it in different ways, depending on whether or not it is injected or ingested.

Keznel Sun 26-May-13 22:13:14

Repevax is what is currently being used in the UK so no you cannot get a single whooping cough vaccine unless maybe it's sourced privately, not sure on this. Offering a single vaccine is simply not cost effective so you get 9 antigens total whether you want them or not! Yes it's the injected aluminium I'm concerned about not what's ingested, and passing to my developing baby. There is a reason why these things aren't tested on developing human fetuses! Until now that is! Although a whooping cough vaccine has been given to women in the USA for a few years now it is a different vaccine to what's offered in the UK therefore not comparable.

Littleolivetree Sun 26-May-13 22:18:01

I would rather not risk my child dying.

Tabitha8 Sun 26-May-13 22:29:56

Presumably the Repevax will protect the newborn against all the diseases? I realise that newborns in the UK are unlikely to be at risk from tetanus and polio. Not sure about diphtheria.

Apparently, aluminium ingested by the mother can pass through the placenta.

Keznel Mon 27-May-13 07:32:47

But happy to risk a potential CNS disorder?(Sorry just wanted to respond with an equally emotive statement) I get that most people on this thread are pro vaccine. I simply do not know! I am behind the childhood vaccination programme, but when considering toxins its all about dose, whats injected and is perfectly safe for me, may not be for a developing baby, how can you know for sure?! This is the first time this vaccine has been given to pregnant women it could take years for any harmful affects to present in those children whose mothers choose to have it. But I will be talking to several people in the health care sector over the weeks to come including my obstetrician, I will also continue my own research, only then will I make my final decision. I have 7-17 weeks to make up my mind. Everyone can only do what they feel is right at the time once all the information is weighed up.

Keznel Mon 27-May-13 08:22:53

Just a further note on aluminium before I leave this thread for a while smile to do some further reading/investigation. We thankfully as a family do not consume or use a lot of the products that are thought to be high in aluminium. But everyone has some aluminium in their bodies. It is babies below 6 months that are especially prone to absorbing it and not so great at getting rid of it.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 10:03:02

It's given at a late stage of pregnancy when all the major organs are developed and the baby just really needs a bit more time to grow.

Information about aluminium in vaccines here:

For comparison:
"A. During the first 6 months of life, infants could receive about 4 milligrams of aluminum from vaccines. That’s not very much: a milligram is one-thousandth of a gram and a gram is the weight of one-fifth of a teaspoon of water. During the same period, babies will also receive about 10 milligrams of aluminum in breast milk, about 40 milligrams in infant formula, or about 120 milligrams in soy-based formula."

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 10:06:21

Ingested is different to injected.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 10:31:48

The report I linked to does address that.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 10:41:43

Not really, and it's not really a report, it's publicity material.

"A. Most of the aluminum that enters the body is eliminated quickly. Though all of the aluminum present in vaccines enters the bloodstream, less than 1 percent of aluminum present in food is absorbed through the intestines into the blood."

For example, this is misleading. It gives the impression that less than one per cent of aluminium in vaccines is absorbed to the body. It doesn't directly say that, but it gives that impression. In fact aluminium in vaccines doesn't go to the gut, and 100 per cent of aluminium in vaccines is in the bloodstream.

"Either way, most of the aluminum in the bloodstream is immediately bound by a protein called transferrin, which carries aluminum
to the kidneys where it is eliminated from the body."

So less one per cent of ingested aluminium goes to the kidneys but 100 per cent of injected (vaccine) aluminium goes to the kidneys.

"The ability of the body to rapidly eliminate aluminum accounts for its excellent record of safety."

Again this seems to reference the "more than 99 pc" of ingested aluminium which is eliminated in the stool.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 10:46:05

Perhaps we could use the figures in your post earlier.
10 mili grams of aluminium in breastmilk = more than 99 p c eliminated in stool therefore less than 1 mg to kidneys for processing
4 mg of aluminium in vaccines = 100 pc in the bloodstream and to the kidneys

So you see there is a four-fold difference (not in vaccines favour).

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 10:46:40

This bit:

"Because both breast milk and infant formula contain aluminum, all babies have small quantities of aluminum in their bloodstreams all the time. The amount is very small: about 5 nanograms (billionths of a gram) per milliliter of blood (about one-fifth of a teaspoon). Indeed, the quantity of aluminum in vaccines is so small that even after an injection
of vaccines, the amount of aluminum in a baby’s blood does not detectably change"

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 10:58:39

"Indeed, the quantity of aluminum in vaccines is so small that even after an injection of vaccines, the amount of aluminum in a baby’s blood does not detectably change"

There's no evidence here to support this, it seems to be just a statement. It cannot in fact be true because 100 per cent of vaccine aluminium enters the bloodstream. If you can link the evidence to support it that would be great. (I mean a study, not publicity material)

Sunnysummer Mon 27-May-13 11:03:00

My friend's baby died of whooping cough, passed on by a visiting toddler whose mother had (secretly) decided not to vaccinate her kids... Whooping cough really is so dangerous and with the prevalence right now I not only got it myself but made DH and GPs get it too..

If you have concerns, perhaps it's worth chatting about with your midwife, they do have good advice including for specific conditions and concerns?

CatherinaJTV Mon 27-May-13 11:13:11

Sunnysummer - that is horrific sad

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 11:25:16

The references are there, Crumbled. I don't have access to the full papers.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 11:58:03

In that case I shouldn't think I do either, noblegiraffe. Unless you can supply the link you're asking me to take it on trust. Given that there's a significantly misleading paragraph in the link you did supply, I don't feel able to do that.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 12:09:22

Tabitha8, can you remember when that thread was that you just mentioned.

CatherinaJTV Mon 27-May-13 12:37:22


as far as I can see, you have not provided a reference for your 100% of vaccine aluminium ends up in blood. I know for a fact that this is not what happens in animal studies (rabbits injected with radioactive aluminium).

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 12:55:07

I didn't say it "ends up" in blood, I think you must be confused.

Noblegiraffe was comparing figures which can't be compared, so I explained why. Only one per cent or less of ingested aluminium has the potential to enter the bloodstream via the kidneys, whereas 100 p c of vaccine aluminium must be processed by the kidneys and has potential to end up in the bloodstream.

That's four times as much injected aluminium than ingested aluminium. You don't need a link, it's just maths. Unless you want a link for "less than 99 p c" which you could find in noblegiraffe's publicity link.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 12:57:47

Have just found this, it wasn't that hard actually Tabitha, I should have done it myself first time.

CatherinaJTV Mon 27-May-13 19:13:01

Crumbled, you still need a link to support your claim - I don't see one. I may have missed it. Humour me, please. Off the top of my head, about 17% of injected aluminium end up in blood, but that takes days (; also, the 4mg which you keep mentioning here are the maximum a child would get in 6 months on the US schedule.

I think people who are against vaccination will find something to be enraged about, aluminium is the new thimerosal and all that. If I had another baby, I would totally get the booster shot! I have several friends whose babies had pertussis at around 4 months of age and it was horrendous. I cannot imagine a smaller infant with it. Vaccines saves lives.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 19:17:16

No I don't - I didn't make the claim you said I made. I think you're confused.

Are you suggesting that injected aluminium travels to the kidneys via the gut?

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 19:19:14

"I think people who are against vaccination will find something to be enraged about"

I think you are rather putting the cart before the horse there.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 19:26:27

It was noblegiraffe who mentioned 4mg.

By the way I got my maths wrong. Only 0.1mg of breastmilk aluminium is off to the kidneys for processing after digestion. That's forty times less than vaccine (injected) aluminium (according to noblegiraffe's figures).

40 times less. Vaccine amount 40 times higher.

Tabitha8 Mon 27-May-13 19:40:51

Walnuts Pleased you found the aluminium thread. I'm not sure I would have found it smile.

Sunnysummer Mon 27-May-13 19:42:15

Thanks Catherina.

My friend had to watch as her little girl took only 2 weeks to go from a happy little newborn, to having a slight cough, to struggling to breathe, to getting pneumonia and finally to dying of multiple organ failure with her parents helpless by her crib. This is despite being born absolutely healthy, being diagnosed very early and getting specialist help from a very good hospital.

Like the OP, I'm the type not to use fake tan, paracetamol and the like while pregnant, and in an ideal world I'd love to avoid having any injections. But what scares me a little here is that somehow these threads end up comparing the risk of testably undetectably amounts of aluminium with the very small but very measurable and very horrific risk of death. For my child's sake and my own, I thought it was very important to get this vaccine.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 19:46:22

It does seem to be theoretical risk versus definite one. No one wants to see babies come to harm.

Littleolivetree Mon 27-May-13 21:48:30

Hear hear, finally some sense. I really believe that our health service is amazing and they would really not put pregnant women and babies at risk. Everything in life is a risk, it's about considering what risks are worth taking. In this instance I would acknowledge the very real risk of your baby potentially dying due to the recent epidemic being preventable with a vaccination.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 21:52:48

Your faith is impressive Olive. I agree with you a little bit: I think that rather unquestioning approach is all about faith, rather than evidence.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 22:56:31

By the way Tabitha I typed injected ingested aluminium mumsnet into google and it was about the third one!

Littleolivetree Tue 28-May-13 08:24:30

Good, because I can confidently say that our health system is influenced by clinical evidence not guesswork.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 28-May-13 21:02:11

Yes - that's the faith thing again. I'm very happy for you - many people who've vaccinated their children have different experiences.

Littleolivetree Tue 28-May-13 21:25:34

It's not faith it's fact.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 28-May-13 21:29:20

You strongly believe it's fact. That's fine for you. It's good to have faith - quite often it results in quite a strong placebo effect actually. It doesn't make any difference at all to what I think, obviously, which is an evidence based opinion, by the way. We will have to agree to disagree smile

Littleolivetree Tue 28-May-13 21:30:16


noblegiraffe Tue 28-May-13 21:41:19

Careful of the nocebo effect, Crumbled.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 28-May-13 21:45:26

Why? Do you have any comment on the fact that 40 times more vaccine aluminium than breastmilk aluminium must be processed by a baby's kidneys? I'm concerned you may not have realised how misleading your earlier post was.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-May-13 21:52:17

You don't seem to have any evidence that that's a problem, though, Crumbled?

The nocebo effect, by the way, is negative thoughts reducing the efficacy of medicine, or making adverse events more likely to occur. I'd rather the placebo effect wink

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 28-May-13 22:04:29

It's a known neuro-toxin.

That's not a nocebo by the way. A nocebo is inert, like placebo, but makes you feel worse not better.

noblegiraffe Tue 28-May-13 22:30:08

But that doesn't mean that it causes problems in small doses.

"The study thus demonstrates that sensationalized media reports on potential risks, which often lack scientific evidence, can have a significant effect on the health of large sections of the population"

Nocebo effect in action

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 29-May-13 06:57:37

Hmm your last link and your figures were misleading and you don't seem to want to acknowledge that, so I don't think it's possible to trust your links until you do.

The nocebo link is as I described, by the way.

On that one sentence you extract - I don't see the point of it. Do you think that people only report vaccine damage because they read about it in the paper? Is that what you're trying to say? Am I conversing with someone over t'interweb in the 21st century who actually believes that?

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 07:40:46

You haven't provided anything yourself to counter them.

No, the nocebo effect comment was related to your patronising 'faith = placebo effect' remark to olive. If that were restricted to vaccines, then that is bizarre as I don't think a placebo effect related to vaccines has been noted. Certainly homeopathic vaccines are bobbins. But in contrast to faith in evidence-based medicine having a positive effect, as you told olive, distrust of medication, hyper awareness of adverse events etc isn't good for you.

Btw if a placebo can cause adverse events simply through thinking that they can, then it makes sense that actual medication can too. Medication has a placebo effect as well as a medicinal one. It would just be difficult to decide whether a side effect were caused by the medication, or by the patient expecting it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 09:07:23

I think it would make sense to test for WC immunity at the same time as rubella immunity and HIV and then only offer the vaccine to women who are not immune. WC in adults can be quite mild so many of us may have had it recently without realising and may already be immune.

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 09:21:21

Even if you're immune, it's recommended that you get the vaccine at the right stage of pregnancy to ensure optimal transfer of antibodies. Even if you have whooping cough earlier in the pregnancy it's still recommended!

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 09:38:52

Should clarify, the wc vaccine in pregnancy isn't about protecting the mother (unlike the flu vaccine in pregnancy which is to stop the mother getting it). It's about trying to vaccinate the baby via the mother before it is born. The best time to do this is late in pregnancy as antibodies don't transfer before then. The vaccine causes production of lots of antibodies in the mother which then pass to the baby.

As it is about vaccinating the baby, you need the vaccine at the right time every time you are pregnant.

I don't think the mother being immune is enough.

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 10:50:25

Why does this policy not apply for all diseases we have been vaccinated against then? Although, considering that Repevax also covers tetanus, diptheria and polio, I guess we pretty much are re-vaccinating!

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 10:57:20

Because babies have been dying of whooping cough lately, bumbley. Ones that are too young to be vaccinated themselves. It's awful.

As far as I know, babies haven't been dying of other preventable diseases to require action.

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 13:13:31

You sound a bit patronising NG. I'm not sure if that's intentional or not...

Is there a breakdown of cases showing the ages of the children contracting WC? I wonder how the percentages of cases in young infants compares to previous years. In the past were mothers more likely to get natural boosters to WC during their pregnancy that enabled them to pass on higher levels of antibodies?

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 13:20:16

HPA WC notifications and deaths.

I don't see a dramatic change...

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 13:21:10

Not intended to patronise, intended to answer your question.

I don't know the breakdown of ages, but last year there were 1687 cases of whooping cough, this year (same time period) there have been 6760 and a number of deaths in newborns (13 was the last figure I heard). That's why action is being taken.

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 13:22:58

HPA WC notifications and deaths.

I don't see a dramatic change...

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 13:29:29

Why such a high percentage of deaths compared to the number of cases? In that chart I linked to there were 14 deaths in 1082 out of over 65000 cases. I'm wondering of more newborns are contracting it now because women aren't getting natural boosters. It would be interesting to see the figures.

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 13:30:04

14 deaths in 1982*

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 14:00:39

In 1945 there were a similar number of cases and hundreds of deaths, so 'natural boosters' didn't seem much use then.

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 14:41:31

In 1945 there was no NHS. Look how the deaths started to fall after 1948...

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 14:43:10

I'm not saying its any one thing. Just wondering why there is a higher proportion of deaths all of a sudden.

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 15:08:43

Age breakdown from 2008-2012 here

The biggest increase in cases has been in the over 15s. From the table there, there was a 9x increase in cases, and only a doubling of cases in newborns, however if there were 7 deaths in 2011 and 14 in 2012 that's about right, as it seems it is generally newborns that die from it.

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 15:44:53

I was hoping to have a breakdown of figures from a longer time ago to compare. Not much has changed with the vaccine from 2008-2012.

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 17:01:03

Is your google broken?

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 18:48:19

Patronising again NG?

noblegiraffe Wed 29-May-13 19:29:49

Yes, this time. Bored of you asking stuff then dismissing the answers as not what you wanted. Google it yourself and report back your findings about 'natural boosters', hmm?

bumbleymummy Wed 29-May-13 20:56:36

NG, I'm not sure why you're being dismissive of the idea of natural boosters - it's the same as getting a 'booster' vaccine only it comes from coming into contact with the disease naturally. If the disease isn't circulating as widely in the community then this is less likely to happen. I was merely wondering if that is perhaps why women's immunity levels to WC aren't high enough to pass on protective levels of antibodies to their newborn. Although with the increase in WC cases it is more likely that we'll come into contact with it.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 29-May-13 20:56:55

"You haven't provided anything yourself to counter them."
I've demolished it by the simple application of primary maths (which I did get wrong in vaccines favour at first!) Do you stand by it?

You misunderstand by the way. I wasn't referring to the placebo effect in vaccines, just how faith generally is an important part of placebo treatment (you and everyone knows this I think) and can play a role in pharmaceutical treatment too, as you say.

The thing about sensation media reporting leading to more people thinking they're poorly, that does apply perfectly to Swansea by the way. A media frenzy, followed by hundreds of "cases" that weren't anything of the sort.

But you didn't say. Do you really think people only report vaccine damage because they read about it in the paper? What about the people who reported it before anything made the papers? What about the parents expressing fears of autism and auto immune problem MMR links before anybody even heard of Andrew Wakefield, for example?

On whooping cough, nobody seems worried that this vaccine might not even protect against parapertussis, which is apparently a mutated strain also spreading. What's the breakdown of figures on that? They don't publish that do they.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 29-May-13 21:37:29

I've just done some googling, found this on Medscape, not something I've looked at before, I suppose I'll have to check its credentials. Maybe it's why the death rate has gone up, maybe the worst cases are the parapertussis strain which the vaccinedoesn't protectagain.

B parapertussis has been reported to cause whooping cough either as a single infective agent or with coinfection with B pertussis in almost 40% of laboratory-confirmed cases.[1]

Parapertussis afflicts very young infants as well as adults. The clinical presentation of B parapertussis infection is variable: 40% of infected persons may be asymptomatic, but most patients have paroxysmal cough that lasts for less than a week, with the entire illness lasting for less than 3 to 4 weeks.[4] Whoop has been reported in almost 60% of patients with parapertussis, but usually its persistence is of shorter duration than that seen in patients with pertussis. Post-tussive emesis as well as nocturnal cough are less frequent in those with parapertussis than in those with pertussis.[5]

Lymphocytosis observed in patients with pertussis is caused by PT, and because B parapertussis does not produce PT, lymphocytosis is not observed in patients with parapertussis.[6]*Severe cases of whooping cough are associated with dual infection with B pertussis and B parapertussis.*[7] Parapertussis confers long-lasting immunity, but there is no cross-immunity between pertussis and parapertussis.[8,9] *Therefore, vaccination against pertussis does not protect against parapertussis.*[10]

The diagnosis of parapertussis can be made in a number of ways. B parapertussis is less fastidious than B pertussis and can be grown from nasopharyngeal secretions in 2 to 3 days on the same culture medium (Bordet-Gengou agar) used to isolate B pertussis. The direct fluorescent an tibody test performed on nasopharyngeal specimens provides rapid diagnosis, but the test has low sensitivity and specificity and therefore needs to be performed simultaneously with culture.[11] Recently, PCR assays performed on nasopharyngeal specimens have been shown to provide rapid diagnosis with high specificity and sensitivity.[3]

To date, no studies have been conducted on the management of parapertussis. Because many persons infected with B parapertussis are asymptomatic and the majority have a mild course, many infections remain undetected. These persons can act as carriers of infection, however, and may transmit the disease to young infants, who may have a severe course. In fact, fatality from parapertussis has been reported.[7] Thus, it may be important to treat all patients who have B parapertussis infections.

In vitro studies have shown that in general, B parapertussis is more resistant to antibiotics than B pertussis, and the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of most antibiotics is higher for B parapertussis than for B pertussis, except for TMP-SMX and fluoroquinolones. Erythromycin may not be effective in eradicating B parapertussis, because the peak concentration it achieves in respiratory secretions is only 2-fold higher than the MIC90 for B parapertussis. In addition, the concentration of erythromycin in bronchial secretions may vary considerably.[13,14] Because the MICs for TMP-SMX and fluoroquinolones are low and also because the newer fluoroquinolones achieve higher concentrations in respiratory secretions, these drugs may be more effective in eradicating B parapertussis. The role of macrolides (azithromycin and clarithromycin) in the management of parapertussis is not clear.

Because there have been no treatment studies, it is not surprising that there are no data available on the prophylaxis of B parapertussis infection. In the case of our day-care center, we do not know whether prophylactic agents administered to day-care attendees and their parents prevented further spread of parapertussis, because the majority of the day-care attendees were infants and maternal antibodies could have protected at least some of them.

Tabitha8 Wed 29-May-13 21:39:54

noble Do you not believe in the concept of natural boosters against WC? Wouldn't we just all be coming down with it every ten to 15 years or so, given that most of us haven't had a jab against it for some years? In my case, that's some decades.
That's worth a read.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 29-May-13 21:44:29

Well, that's not very good. It says vaccination with acellular pertussis vaccine (is that what we give pregnant women) increased parapertussis in mice lungs by forty times.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 29-May-13 21:45:16

A 40 fold increase would be a 4,000 per cent increase, isn't that right.

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 29-May-13 21:45:52

Snap snap snap.

JoTheHot Thu 30-May-13 08:47:12

Or to put it in context: a 40-fold increase in the less serious parapertussis and a 700-fold, that's seventy thousand, I repeat 70,000 percent, decrease in the more serious pertussis.

It's good to see Tabitha giving approving citations to research recommending extending vaccination programs.

noblegiraffe Thu 30-May-13 09:01:53

Tabitha, no, you wouldn't be expected to come down with it every 15 years if widespread vaccination means that you don't come into contact with it! Like none of us get smallpox any more despite not being immune.

The massive increase in cases in this outbreak has been in the 15+ years age category, suggesting that people are coming down with it when immunity wears off rather than getting a 'natural booster'. It's not one of those things that you can only get once.

bumbleymummy Thu 30-May-13 10:44:16

I had whooping cough as a child. I'd be interested to see if my immunity has waned. Didn't it used to be thought that you only get whooping cough once? Must have a look to see if there are figures showing the cases in adults years ago.

NG, you just said that there wouldn't be enough of it around for people to get a natural booster due to widespread vaccination.

noblegiraffe Thu 30-May-13 11:14:58

Bumbley, natural immunity is only supposed to last 12-20 years so you're probably not immune any more. I think my MIL has had it twice.

What I meant was that it is now around, there's an outbreak, and older people who were immune (from vaccination or from having it) are getting it rather than having their immunity boosted.

Tabitha8 Thu 30-May-13 19:39:09

Jo "It's good to see Tabitha giving approving citations to research recommending extending vaccination programs."
I am not quite sure why you said that mentioning me in particular.

Surely if I came into contact with WC say every five years, I would get a natural booster? I would catch the virus but my immune system would know how to deal with it. If Bumbley has come into contact with it a few times since having it as a child, might she not still be immune?

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 30-May-13 20:36:20

"40-fold increase in the less serious parapertussis "

Less serious in adults - so mild as to not present with symptoms - but can be severe in young infants and is less susceptible to anti-biotics. It's all in that copy and paste I did. You could read it if you like.

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 30-May-13 20:36:49

In vitro studies have shown that in general, B parapertussis is more resistant to antibiotics than B pertussis

Crumbledwalnuts Thu 30-May-13 20:39:01

The "40 fold" refers not to the increase in parapertussis (I couldn't find figures) but to the amount of vaccine aluminium which a baby's kidneys have to process compared to breastmilk aluminium (according to figures from noblegiraffe).

sara8420 Sat 15-Jun-13 15:17:50

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

munchkinR Mon 22-Jul-13 12:27:46

Don't you just hate when people ruin what is a useful and interesting thread in order to try to show that they know more than the rest?

Anyway, I saw Keznel's message and it reminded me of the thoughts I went through when I was pregnant with my DD last year. I had the same thoughts and dilemas about the untested vaccine, the aluminium levels and the fact that the immunity passed to the baby somewhat dampens the baby's immunity to their childhood vaccinations. I contacted the pharmaceutical company that makes the vaccine and made a freedom of information request to the MHRA for details of reported adverse events during preganancy and neonates. After much searching I came to the conclusion that there just isn't any information regarding safety one way or the other. I also found healthcare professionals were clueless and unable to share any useful information about this and they seemed to be blindly following the Department of Health guidelines). When I tired to discuss it with the nurse who was immunising pregnant women I received the response "If you don't want to have it you don't have to", which is clearly obvious and not at all helpful. In the end I opted to have the whooping cough vaccine but later on in pregnancy (week 35 so that I had enough time to make an immune response to pass protection to my baby). Now I have a 6 month old daughter and luckily she overall healthy for now. I also know another 10 pregnant friends who had the vaccine and so far all seems ok. But of course that is not to say that some effect may not arise later.

Regarding the aluminium, this is everywhere and very hard to avoid. I was horrified to learn that soya had lots of aluminium at the time when I was having soya milk to see if a lactose free diet would help my baby's colic. I have been avoiding anti-persiparant deodrants due to their aluminium content and yet I was drinking it by the bucket load! I try to minimise the aluminium my baby gets but unfortunately have had to accept that some if it just cannot be avoided and what is in vaccines seems to not be so much compared to other things that you come across in every day life.

These days it is almost impossible to avoid these "nasties" but we all try our best. I think that Keznel you sound like a very informed person who has widely read around the whooping cough vaccine. Nobody has the perfect answer for you simply because it is an unknown. Despite trying to talk to others for their opinions or for professional opinions, I did not find it helped at all. I found other mums just took the view that they had the vaccine because they thought that if thye NHS were advising it then it must be the best option (naively I think.....I think we can all think back to the famous thalidomide fiasco that arose from another unknown advocated by the NHS). I did not come across anybody I knew for whom it actually crossed their minds the potential effects to their babies (not because they weren't concerned about their babies, they simply just didn't think of it). I remember thinking that I wished I could be that naive too so that I did not feel the burden of the decision and potential guilt in case it turned out I made the wrong decision.
I truly think that this is a decision that you need to make yourself based on everyhting you know and your gut feeling. It is you that has to live with any consequences, be they good or be they bad.

I guess you must have made your decision by now, and I am sure it was the correct one for you and your baby.

caringjayne Mon 16-Sep-13 18:20:04

Thank you so much for that very informative answer. I had no idea that the vaccine contained all of that. I don't like the sound of it at all.

arkestra Wed 18-Sep-13 12:34:59

People were looking for papers (full content, not just abstracts) re aluminium and vaccines earlier in the thread.

Here (after a fair bit of searching) is the most recent take I could find on modelling aluminum pharmacokinetics in infants via diet and vaccination: 2011: Updated aluminum pharmacokinetics following infant exposures through dietand vaccination - Robert J. Mitkus, David B. King, Maureen A. Hess, Richard A. Forshee, Mark O. Walderhaug.

If you want a recent take on the "establishment view" of aluminium safety in vaccines is, that's probably as good as anything.

I personally find it reassuring - but then, I would, wouldn't I? grin.

I am sure that someone with a more sceptical viewpoint of the scientific establishment's take on vaccines would have a different take on the meaning of the paper itself. But hopefully it might move the discussion forward next time something kicks off around Aluminium in vaccines.

The paper does appear to be an honest attempt to model the problem (including a reasonable - eg low - rate on gut absorption) and does point out potential issues with its own assumptions - something which makes it more convincing to me, not less - but which may not have the same effect on all readers?

This is a deadish thread so I won't necessarily check for responses. I am not claiming the paper as a convincing proof that should permanently silence all vaccine sceptics in shame etc etc etc. Just that it clarifies the assumptions being used behind the current establishment view that vaccine aluminium is OK.

CatherinaJTV Wed 18-Sep-13 14:32:28

I had no idea that the vaccine contained all of that. I don't like the sound of it at all.

I don't want to over-dramatise, but how do you like the sound of coughing for 100 days? As in coughing your lungs out, struggling for breath? Or as in coughing on your newborn, giving him or her pertussis, which can very well be deadly to such a young infant? Have a look (these ones both survived, but MAN!)

Damash12 Wed 18-Sep-13 14:53:09

Just do it, you'd never forgive yourself if anything happened. And yes I had the jab last year while carrying ds and he's absolutely fine.

arkestra Wed 18-Sep-13 15:11:52

Having had WC last year I can confirm that it can be pretty vile even if you're getting on like me. But obviously it's the infants that really need protecting.

I have a reasonably clear personal view on the risks and rewards in this area (I am pro the establishment view: MMR is safe, etc etc).

I am sympathetic to those who find the choices more difficult.

I do honestly think that everyone in the debate is acting in good faith - whether it's a mother trying to decide, a government or NGO setting health policy, a vaccine sceptic pressure group, a vaccine establishment figure (such as Paul Offit) or a vaccine sceptic figure (such as Andrew Wakefield).

The tragedy is that so many people believe that many of those with different opinions around vaccines to themselves are acting in bad faith, in one way or another.

It's very hard to engage constructively in any way once that kind of dynamic enters the picture. Even thinking it (but not saying it) tends to poison the dialogue.

I don't think there's any easy answer there - but it is a pity.

ChunkyFunkyMonkey Wed 09-Oct-13 14:22:45

Crumbledwalnuts did you have the WC vaccine for your pregnancy in the end may I ask? Although you were a champion of thought, you hadn't weighed up your mind?

I agree with all your posts so far, i.e: give the individual the facts, and they can make the decision on whether to have the vaccination or not, rather than just tell me blindly to have it. People are good at making decisions for themselves when armed with all the facts. Doctors mostly know this, NHS nurses hate this, and health workers are oblivious to this.

The more up-to-date information that can be shared and is searchable on the internet, the better health will be in the UK. For other countries - be warned away from Nationalised Health Care systems!

GrandPoohBah Wed 09-Oct-13 14:29:58

I had the vaccine. Unbeknownst to me, I was already developing whooping cough.

I coughed so much I gave myself a hernia, and my stomach muscles were hurting before I went into labour. After I had DD I was trying to take care of a newborn whilst not being able to leave the house (cold air set off the cough and 'whoop' and it was December), when I coughed I would a) leak (yay for post partum pelvic floors) or b) vomit - which also led to leaking.

If I were asked again I would still have the vaccine - because what if I hadn't and I'd given my newborn baby whooping cough?

bumbleymummy Thu 10-Oct-13 16:03:09

GrandPooh, your baby would have received its antibodies from you having whooping cough during your pregnancy even if you hadn't had the vaccine. The idea of the vaccine is to make you produce the WC antibodies and pass them onto your baby without you having to contract the disease yourself. Either way, the baby gets the antibodies but with the vaccine you don't have to have the disease.

coorong Fri 11-Oct-13 06:46:07

keznel the "I don't want to put chemicals in my body" is a lame argument. Your body is one big chemical laboratory full of viruses perfuming complex chemical reactions. What are carbon dioxide, water and oxygen? Your body needs chemicals, that's why we eat and breathe.

You work in healthcare?

bumbleymummy Fri 11-Oct-13 08:48:05

coorong, I think it's pretty obvious what she means.

bumbleymummy Fri 11-Oct-13 08:57:49

And which viruses are we full of that perform complex chemical reactions?

Lella116 Thu 19-Dec-13 05:15:51

I do agree with crumbledwalnut, I desided not to go for flu vaccine as I believe in natural medicine and healthy lifestyle, but after reading about dying babies I'm really worried, is risky to do vaccine but even more risky not to have one ? I was hoping that by keeping healthy my self eating lots of fruit and veg and other food full of VITAMINES and antioxidants I will give my baby good antibodies naturaly and in my milk then by continuing doing so , plus keeping my baby far from other toddlers at liest in the 1st 3 months ? That was my plan ,to do that will take a lot of healthy effort which is fine by me, question is now is it enough? Or should I go for WC to be sure ,but worry about vaccines side effects? Is hard real hard:-(, xx

sashh Thu 19-Dec-13 11:58:04


from your blog

That the trial was extended indicates that perhaps there have been few adverse events

No it doesn't it means exactly the opposite. Adverse effects would stop the trial.

No drug is tested on pregnant women or children so technically all drugs given before you are 18 are untested. But the reactions / efficacy / side effects are. I took a drug called methotrexate for 10 years. It had not been tested on pregnant women but it is known to cause serious birth defects in animals. So who in their right mind would risk that with a human? You are strongly advised not to get pregnant on methotrexate and if you do to stop it ASAP.

ther babies and children will have been vaccinated well any coming into contact with my new born will have been! So surely if I ask anyone displaying symptoms to stay away until the baby has had it's own vaccinations.

That sounds fine, but the primary carer for your baby, you, has not been vaccinated. What are you going to do if you contract WC?

I am reluctant to introduce chemicals and viruses into my body The only way to do that is live in a sterile bubble and not eat or drink anything.

it also contains: Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 80, aluminium phosphate, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, streptomycin, neomycin, polymyxin B and bovine serum albumin. Scary list that of course is present in most vaccines. The one that worry me most on that list for potential harm to my baby is aluminium.

But aluminium is not on the list of ingredients. Aluminium phosphate is not aluminium. When you turn on a tap water comes out, water is hydrogen dioxide (amongst other names) you don't get two different gasses pouring out of a tap you get water.

Research can be a good thing. Research when you do not know the context or the technical terms which have a specific meaning. Don't make assumptions, as you did about the trial being extended, as you are in a medical job ask the people who do medical trials.

Almost the thing I say almost always on these threads. If your child gets the disease they are on their own. There are treatments that can be given but nothing that cures.

Finally polio.

There is Polio doing the roounds in Syria because children have not been vaccinated due to war/displacement/parents just trying to keep themselves and their children alive.

There have been no cases reported in the region outside Syria but the it has been found in Isreali sewer systems. Having an up to date polio vax is not a bad idea.

Keznel Wed 08-Jan-14 20:50:06

Hi I just wanted to update you with what I decided, and the reasons why, considering I started this grin

But firstly let me say to coorong hilarious your post made me laugh a lot, I'm in no doubt that you knew exactly what I meant by my comments, but cheers for the chuckle!

As my pregnancy progressed I continued to research the cases of suspected or confirmed WC in our area, and asked my local GP too. The trust that I work for had no cases in 2013. I myself did not (and haven't previously) come into contact with anyone who had either suspected or confirmed WC personally nor professionally. The numbers were insignificantly small. I also read a lot about the disease itself and it's cyclic nature 2012 being the epidemic year, the numbers should theoretically fall from then on. So I kept an eye on WHO published numbers and sure enough numbers were falling. I spoke at length to my consultant who agreed the risk was extremely small that the baby would contract WC. She said if I did decide to get it to leave it as late as possible to 35-36 weeks.

I decided not to have the vaccine while pregnant I felt that it was in its infancy in the use in pregnant women and I was not willing to get it for the reasons I have described above. I now have a happy, healthy, if somewhat noisy 16 week old DS who for reasons I'm not going to go into now, was born by CS at 37weeks. The house was a busy one after he was born. We were visited by adults, adolescents and babies and guess what not one case of WC among his visitors.

I am not posting this to receive your opinions on what I decided to do. I simply wanted to update you on my decision and the reasons for it. Had I discovered that WC was rife in the area we live I may have reached a different conclusion. I hope whatever everyone decided to do was the correct decision for them.

bumbleymummy Wed 08-Jan-14 21:54:59

Congratulations Keznel smile Glad you're both healthy and happy.

CatherinaJTV Wed 08-Jan-14 22:11:58

congratulations and thank you for the detailed update and reasoning...

Frontdoorstep Thu 09-Jan-14 16:41:01

Congratulations on your baby. Thanks for the update. Your reasoning sounds well though out and was obviously the best outcome for you and your baby

pixiestix Sun 19-Jan-14 11:24:39

Thanks for the update Keznel. Congratulations on your lovely boy. Your thread has been really interesting and useful to me.

honeyharris Fri 14-Feb-14 20:25:06

Keznel, can I ask where you managed to get the information from on WC cases in your area? I've asked my midwife and GP and they weren't able to tell me.

tpepep Thu 13-Mar-14 18:42:49

I had my vaccine for whooping cough on wednesday i'm 31 weeks pregnant today and had this injection on both occasions with my 2 boys and now expecting a girl my shoulder has come up red from where i was jabbed but now it really itches but it never did when i had it before.

mumtobeZ Sat 03-May-14 22:07:31

What a shame that these old illnesses are reappearing again and we are having to make such tough choices for our unborn with the very little info available to us.
Although the number of infant deaths is decreasing with more women getting vaccinated these days, the illness is still present and a serious one.
I had the whooping cough jab in the end at 32 weeks (two days ago) after a lot of research and discussions with the midwife and my doctor.
Good luck to all the mummies to be, this isn't an easy decision to make.

Beachbump Wed 28-May-14 21:47:13

I was looking for up to date whooping cough information to see if I was in a high risk area or season. I found some very interesting and accurate data on the below link which helped me make an informed decision:

and search for the term: pertussis

The data was collected up til the end of December 2013 so is the most up to date I have found.

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