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Anyone choosing NOT to have the whooping cough jab?

(26 Posts)
flutterbynight Mon 01-Oct-12 15:59:55

Just that really, I wondered if any/many were choosing not to have the jab and if so why? I am 36 weeks pregnant and booked in to have it in a week's time but keep revisiting my decision. I know the risk of whooping cough is real and dangerous, compared to no known risks with the vaccine but the lack of trials in pregnancy and the fact that the efficacy of this approach in preventing infant infection is not known (for this vaccine) are playing on my mind.

On the other hand, if my baby got WC and I hadn't had the vaccination, how could I live with myself?

An introduction to the difficult choices parenthood brings I guess!

Orenishii Mon 01-Oct-12 16:20:53

I'm choosing not to. Partly because I'm 38 weeks today anyway and the effectiveness of creating the antibodies before I give birth is very reduced.

Partly because although they say there has been no adverse side effects, they haven't tested it to know categorically there isn't - and there not being, and testing it to be sure are two different things. There is very little information on the vaccine being tested.

Partly because in the years where there were drastically reduced numbers of vaccinations, there were no more great numbers of cases than in the years of high numbers of vaccinations. Which seems to be the case when you look into vaccinations - it doesn't actually guarantee not getting it.

I refuse to get swept along with the hysteria. The actual numbers of deaths in 2012 so far is three babies. Three. FSID - a cot death charity - estimate that 290 babies die a year from SIDS, just to put it into perspective.

It's up to you, I would never try to persuade someone - these are just my personal reasons. I think there is a lot of hysteria, fear-mongering, and I'm not just going to inject myself and/or my baby with anything without doing my own research.

My own mother refused to have me vaccinated in the 80's when there was the brain damage scare - I got Wc - and I was fine. I was sick, but it was fine. She was alert to the symptoms, had it treated immediately and just to reiterate - the jab might not have prevented me getting it, probably making my mum more complacent about the symptoms in the first place.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Mon 01-Oct-12 16:35:47

Thanks for the reminder, just booked mine in!

I have to have a whole series of jabs every few years anyway (immuno-deficient) so one more makes no difference to me and I can see the positive benefits to the baby.

carrielou2007 Mon 01-Oct-12 17:05:31

I'm not having it of flu jab.

Both my dc hzve had all their immunisations but I just have this clawing bag about anything whilst I am pregnant. I've had two emergency eye ops both under local as pregnant (hideous sad) luckily no pain with second op when paracetamol did nothing with first.

It is a very personal decision and I just can't get the thalidomide out of my head -totally different I know but that's just how I feel. Unreasonable to a log if people but then it's a fool who tries to argue with a pregnant woman grin

AliceHurled Mon 01-Oct-12 17:10:36

I don't know. I'm of course getting stressed by the snowball of stuff about it. But I'm over 38 weeks so is there any point? I'm happy to have it in me, and then pass the antibodies through BF if it works like that, but I suspect an answer to that will be hard to find. But having it when pregnant makes me worried.

flutterbynight Tue 02-Oct-12 13:23:04

I keep changing my mind but am now leaning towards cancelling my appointment and not having it. I also want DH to read up a bit about it so we can (hopefully!) come to a decision we're both happy with. In some ways I wish I was a few weeks further on so the decision was out of my hands. I guess once you know the pros and cons you just have to make a choice and not keep revisiting it! smile

annelid Tue 02-Oct-12 21:01:49

I am also in two minds. My initial reaction is no, and the same for the flu jab. I have read so many reports and articles in the past week! The thing that keeps playing on my mind is that they say there are no side effects or possible harm to the baby, but do they really know? The vaccine given here is not the same as in other countries, there seems to be no conclusive evidence of effectiveness etc. Really hard decision...still thinking

I am only just pg but when I had DC1 I refused the swine flu jab as there weren't any local cases and I didn't travel on public transport or come in contact with many people.

However I would and I will have the WC jab.
I took a risk with dc1, I ended up being the small percentage. The guilt hurts.

However. Emotion aside. I believe more than three babies have died, I thought it was twelve. Are you in an outbreak area? Are you likely to come into contact with people who might be carrying WC, remember it won't be children in the main but Adukts and teenagers whose immunity has lapsed. The symptoms can be little more than a cold in adults. Failing that read up the signs of WC in newborns (it's linked on the nhs and BBC sites) and feel confident about your decision.

At the end of the day you are the same as a mum who chooses to have the jab, up are doing what YOU feel is right for YOUR baby.

chezziejo Tue 02-Oct-12 21:33:24

In not having it or flu jab. To be honest I don't know why I just feel uneasy about it and really don't want it. Not much of an argument i know :-/

flutterbynight Tue 02-Oct-12 21:59:20

I feel the same as you chezziejo. I have read a lot on the subject, including the minutes of the vaccination committee meeting where they decided to go ahead with this programme. What I keep coming back to is the lack of proven efficacy, the fact it isn't the same as the US vaccine (as it includes polio), and that while there are no known risks, that's not the same as saying it has been tested and/or is safe!

On the other hand, I live in the south east where there seem to have been the most cases and my relatives work in jobs where they're likely to come into contact with lots of other people and therefore more likely to contract WC and pass it on to my baby.

Aargh! Going round in circles, just have to make a decision, I'm too much of a thinker!!

lauraellajane Tue 02-Oct-12 22:01:31

Why are people uneasy about having the flu jab? I get offered one every year for being asthmatic and haven't booked my appointment yet, wanted to discuss it with dr when I go for my first 'I'm pregnant' appointment next week but I know the dr i'm booked in with isn't very helpful so not certain of a good answer!

Orenishii Tue 02-Oct-12 23:32:54

Anothercereal You're right, it's not three - that was an article dated this summer that I read. But it looks like it's nine so far, not twelve either:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19729989
www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCentre/NationalPressReleases/2012PressReleases/120928whoopvaccforpregwomenwelcome/

Still. Nine deaths in a year that is reportedly up four times the amount of cases.

I spoke to my midwife today at my 38 week appointment - she was actually reassuring me that it was burning through the media like wildfire and that they had only just heard about it on Sunday, and that I wasn't to worry I wasn't getting it...Until I reassured her that I had been uneasy anyway and not being eligible took the decision out of my hands.

Not having it will also mean I am vigilant for signs - can everyone who's had it, and thinks it grants immunity, say the same? What's the point in having it if you can still catch the virus anyway? This is just my personal POV, I realise it's a very emotive subject but you know, you just have to make your own choices. Nine deaths from a virus is not enough for me to be injected with something that has little information about side effects, and having it done in no way guarantees immunity.

This is the best I've found on the vaccine: Acellular vaccines, which contain only the parts of the whooping cough bacteria that are important for an immune response, have been carefully developed over the years so that they now offer similar protection to the whole cell vaccines. As they cause fewer side effects than the whole cells vaccines, it was possible to introduce a booster acellular pertussis vaccine dose in 2001. In 2004, the UK changed its primary vaccination programme so that we now only offer the acellular vaccines to protect children in the UK against whooping cough.

From www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/WhoopingCough/GeneralInformation/

AliceHurled Wed 03-Oct-12 08:23:56

Has anyone been able to find data on where the cases are happening? I've found wc by region, and wc by age. But I can't find wc by region by age.

Very good point re false sense of security.

farfallarocks Wed 03-Oct-12 08:34:51

I am totally on the fence and posted on the other thread too, keep changing my mind.
alice I have seen those stats and its annoying its not split by region and by age.
I am suprised that London has such a low rate of infection though, thought it would be higher.
It is worrying that this vaccine is different to the ones used in the states so in effect, does that mean there is NO data regarding safety in pregnancy?
Very hard to live with yourself if your baby did get WC and very hard to live with yourself if something happened because you had the vaccine. There are so many things that were considered 'safe' that 5 years later are linked to something else. My father caught Hep C from 'safe' blood products in the 80s so I am probably a little more sceptical that most.
It does not help that my GP surgery knows nothing about it so I would have to make a fuss about getting this vaccine that I am unsure about in the first place. I only have 2 weeks to get it too. Gah!

sammyleh Wed 03-Oct-12 09:11:30

I'm probably not going to have it... in fact, I'd say I was pretty certain. I'm almost 38 weeks so its pointless now. Also, when speaking to the midwives at a recent class at the hospital they said that they were quite angry that that media had gotten hold of info before the hospitals had time to act and calm the hysteria that would follow. They said it would be a short while before the vaccine came through to the area because they didn't know who would be supplying the vaccine or how quickly it would come in. And at this late stage for me, I'm not going to get caught up in the worry caused by media reports. I'll do everything I can to protect my baby when she's here and when she's vaccinated, I'll breath a little sigh of relief.

annelid Wed 03-Oct-12 10:43:18

Have a look here for regional information, quite interesting

http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317133571498

flutterbynight Wed 03-Oct-12 15:42:21

I have a midwife appt tomorrow so think I'll ask her if she's aware of many WC cases in my area, both in infants and more widely. I suppose my mind is more or less made up not to have it, I'm just looking for a few more bits of info to support my decision! It's at times like this I wish my gut instinct was easier to identify!

AliceHurled Wed 03-Oct-12 18:44:38

Oh brilliant, Annelid. Thanks so much. That helps loads. Interesting how most of the increase is 15+. Although I know it's a more minor illness then. But still it puts it in perspective rather.

sammyleh Thu 04-Oct-12 09:07:35

I agree AliceHurled the info is really useful... cases of newborn WC in my region look to have gone down since last year due to those figures.

AliceHurled Thu 04-Oct-12 09:13:16

Did you spot this year is only q1 and 2? So should be half the previous column to stay the same. And the general trajectory is upwards so I doubled it and then some to give any comparison.

sammyleh Thu 04-Oct-12 09:32:07

Ah no I didn't notice that... still, the figures are low enough for me to not get into a panic.

AliceHurled Thu 04-Oct-12 09:45:40

Yes an increase of a low figure feels a lot different. Also very useful to know what ages are likely to pass it on. I was worried about it being passed on by the little ones but cases of that age are very rare in my area

annelid Thu 04-Oct-12 09:51:48

I thought the figures made very interesting reading. I wonder what the 'real' figures are for 2012 Q1 & 2, or if they are available? and when the Q3 figures will be published.

I was surprised at the figures for the 15+ age group. It makes you wonder if it would be better to give a booster to that section of the population?

JoJoB77 Thu 04-Oct-12 09:52:28

Im 29 weeks pregnant, i had the flu jab yesterday but am reserving judgement on the wc jab until ive looked into it a bit more. It seems that its suddenly popped into the public eye & a vaccine is now available but has it been fully tested? It just all seems to be scaremongering to me at this stage hmm

farfallarocks Thu 04-Oct-12 16:23:57

Its the tetanus that causes the soreness by the way
I am sitll on the fence, mostly because of the polio it includes as well.
The stats on the other thread are enlightening.
In my local area (London) 18 babies have been infected this year, it does but it in context really.
Looks like the group to avoid is teenagers!

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