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Just been offered Whooping Cough jab - please help me decide!

(143 Posts)
crackcrackcrak Thu 04-Oct-12 21:33:27

I'm 36+2 and need to have it by 38 weeks if I want it. So I need to decide and book within a week.
I am concerned this is new so hard to research and make decision based on history of side effects etc.
ATM I am more worried about having it BUT I am in the south west where the outbreak was.
I have never reacted to a jan before but allergic to penicillin and often react v strongly to medication - cant be dealing with that!
Please advise....

DialMforMummy Fri 05-Oct-12 10:19:19

A no brainer for me. I'd have it.

Theas18 Fri 05-Oct-12 10:23:22

Have it and have it soon (in case you deliver early).

It's the same vaccine your baby will have at 8 weeks and onwards.

I'm biased as I'e seen tiny babies in ITU with pertussis its was horrific and I wasn't even related to the child.... to be that childs parent and know I could have done something- well you can just imagine how you'd feel. If any thing can be done to prevent it or lessen the impact it should be.

There has sadly ben complacency re herd immunity and lots of " oh I'm a bit worried about vaccines, if others vaccinate my child wont catch it anyway" feelings and so we have had measles out breaks and now whooping cough.

(BTW I'm not finger pointing at millitant anti vax parents- if you have truly done your own research and come to the conclusion you don't want imms - your choice.... but the apathetic " I don't think we'll bother" makes me so cross!)

OldandUnwise Fri 05-Oct-12 10:46:37

Little one is a lot better now, thank you everyone. Over the worst of it and the cough is slowly fading although he has good days and bad days. It's just a matter of time now... He's a happy little fella and has been amazingly stoic.

I forgot to add that although whooping cough is not so severe in adults it is definitely not fun. My husband and I both have it too. Most people don't realise that immunity from the vaccination only lasts for 5 years or so. Having it when in the last stage of pregnancy or just after having a baby is something else you don't want shudder. I was just sitting here thinking about the pure horror that it would be to have to have a c-section with the illness... It doesn't bear thinking about.

DrSeuss Fri 05-Oct-12 10:58:08

I have had whooping cough aged eight despite being jabbed as a baby and it was AWFUL! Apparently, that was the mild form so God help anyone who get's it for real. Thirteen weeks of spending most of the day coughing till I cried.
Get a jab.

MoonHare Fri 05-Oct-12 11:30:37

Have the jab and read the other thread, lots of good information and advice on there.

I had mine on Monday at 37+2 and the flu jab at the same time, one in each arm. The arm I had the WC vaccine in was most sore it lasted for a couple of days. Only a tiny bit of discomfort in return for peace of mind and protection for my baby.

I received the pre-school booster jab, which I happily took my 3 year old daughter to have back in June. She was fine and I'm fine.

Get on with contacting your GP surgery to make the appt. if you look at the other thread you'll see that many, many women have had trouble getting it before 38 weeks and been disgracefully fobbed off - so don't delay.

Londonmrss Fri 05-Oct-12 11:40:52

The reason that infections such as whooping cough return and evolve is partly because of people who decide not to get vaccines. If people don't vaccinate their child, they assume their child will be safe because everyone else will be vaccinating their children. This should be a society decision, not an individual one. If you do feel it is an individual decision, I see vaccinations like choosing to make your child wear a seatbelt. Even though you're not that likely to have an accident, you might as well take the precaution.
That's why I had mine this week. I want as much immunity as possible to pass on to my baby. No side effects at all, other than a slightly achy arm afterwards.

Clarella Fri 05-Oct-12 11:54:28

So sorry to hear what you've been through oldandunwise, and others who've suffered from the disease. My cousin almost died from it as a baby in the 70s and a friend of my mothers in her late 40s caught wc in April/may and has been left with some sort of post viral/bacterial syndrome and is still suffering now.

I can totally understand the worry over choices as I found the whole slapped cheek thing horrid but that is hugely less risk (it was the stress from not knowing which child who snuffled or snotted might have it, knowing it was a big year for it and working with sen and asd children very closely, very mixed messages from medical people plus it kept popping up so the doctor signed me off till out of the 'danger' period for mc.) I tried to reason that if I hadn't had it in 35 years, 11 as a teacher, it was perfectly possible not to get it now, however the way whooping cough goes is that (I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong) you are likely to have been exposed from time to time in your life which 'tops up' immunity and considering its quite an outbreak the dangers of catching it are high, and the dangers for baby extreme.

The hangover of the mmr crap still lingers in our psyche. I know parents who've gone through agony about all that and it was total rubbish. (im really restraining my self on that one as it makes me mad!) I feel the same as theas18 re complacency verses informed choices. You do need to feel comfortable. Personally I was delighted to be offered the jab yesterday as I know some women (inc a 38 wk anesthetist at our nct class) have struggled to get it.

By the way, had both, flu arm a little more sore though for a woman at aquanatal this morn it was the wc arm but feel fine and dandy (as one can at 32 wks)

Clarella Fri 05-Oct-12 11:57:15

(Though despite what I've said above my honest gut feeling is the same as Londonmrs)

crackcrackcrak Fri 05-Oct-12 13:20:14

Thank you all so much for taking time to respond. I am still agonising over this but have lots of useful info to think over. I can always rely on mn for rational, considered opinion - we are lucky grin

shazra Fri 05-Oct-12 14:58:01

What I don't understand is why the baby can be given the antibodies before they are born, but can't have them until after 8 weeks from being born?

mrsbugsywugsy Fri 05-Oct-12 15:07:31

What expat said.

As well as all the benefits to the baby, tbh I'll be really happy to have the jab for my own sake too - the idea of having whooping cough while in the late stages of pregnancy, while also being asthmatic....well, it doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun either grin

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 15:15:45

shazra the antibodies are pre-processed by mummy and passed through the umbilical cord. The vaccination needs the baby to process it and make its own antibodies and they cannot do it themselves until they are bigger and stronger.

shazra Fri 05-Oct-12 15:22:00

Thank you valiumqueen, I have my jab booked on Wednesday. That's the only question I had grin

PeshwariNaan Fri 05-Oct-12 15:30:31

Is anyone else concerned that Repevax, the vaccine that is being used, contains polio vaccine? Polio vaccine is not recommended in pregnancy.

The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine widely used in the US and France is DPT - diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus, but not polio. I really want this vaccine but I'm worried about the conflict between two types of medical advice.

Any ideas? Don't know who to ask on this one.

BoffinMum Fri 05-Oct-12 15:53:00

I am not immune to Rubella, despite being vaccinated four times, or Slapped Cheek (no vaccination available anyway). There's a strong possibility DS2 got Slapped Cheek when I was pg (big panic, and we had to be tested at the hospital). He's got various neuro problems and learning difficulties, and that may be a consequence of getting infected in utero. sad

I always say to mothers reluctant to vaccinate that actually it's not only for the benefit of your children, it's for the benefit of people who physiologically are incapable of building up sufficient immunity as well, especially with things like Rubella. None of us stand alone in this.

ValiumQueen Fri 05-Oct-12 16:16:20

peshwari I understand your concerns, and they are hoping to bring out a single vaccine, but at the moment the benefits of having the vaccine with polio in outweigh the risks of not having it. If you are say 20 weeks pg, and have the benefit of time, then wait, but if like me you are near term, that is a risk I am prepared to take. Although it is not recommended in pg (polio) there is no evidence it will do harm. Most things are not recommended in pg as there is no way to ethically test.

PeshwariNaan Fri 05-Oct-12 18:02:10

ValiumQueen - OK, thanks!! I appreciate the quick response! I'm from the US and we have the DPT vax only. I can wait a few weeks - I'm 25 wks now.

Sophiathesnowfairy Fri 05-Oct-12 18:22:20

I just had the jab today and it was the pertussis one.

FuriousRox Fri 05-Oct-12 21:43:20

I'm 38 weeks today and I had the jab on Weds.

My GP surgery was in a state of confusion and didn't have it in stock, and it looked as if it was going to be too late for me. Very frustrating. So I had to get a private prescription for it instead. I know various people who've had whooping cough, and I just really wanted to get vaccinated.

Now just have to hope I have time to make lots of lovely antibodies!

emonslemons Fri 05-Oct-12 21:53:28


Novemberbaby101112 Fri 05-Oct-12 21:59:02

I just wanted to correct a couple of inaccuracies above. The vaccine that is being offered isn't the one that babies have at a few months old- it is the one that it is given when the child is 3 years old.

There is also a question over whether any of the antibodies will transfer to the baby- there is no proof either way.

You may find this helpful, as it is the minutes from the meeting where they decided to give the vaccination. I stil haven't made up my mind- but my main worry is that taking the vaccine could mean that it will blunt the affects of the vaccine that the babies have later- which will make them vunerable to whooping cough throughout their childhood. again- they dont know if that will happen- but this paper says that it is possible.

emonslemons Fri 05-Oct-12 21:59:04

everyone is just thinking about consequences in a very short sighted kind of way and not the long term consequences of the vaccine. As you have all said it is not recommended in pregnancy and they have very limited research done due to ethical issues with using the vaccine in pregnant women. So basically no one know what the long term consequences/side effects maybe? and yet most of you guys are happy to go along with it because of the ever so tiny chance of catching whooping cough and their baby dying? scared!

Novemberbaby101112 Fri 05-Oct-12 22:05:02

I'm with your emonslemons. I think it is a horrible decision- and not as clear cut as some are saying.

ThunderboltKid Fri 05-Oct-12 22:13:00

November in our surgery it is exactly the same vaccine that the baby is given at 8 weeks hmm

Clarella Fri 05-Oct-12 22:13:31

Well said boffin mum and so sorry you've been through all that. Best wishes to you and your little boy. I've had 5 slapped cheek tests, all clear but ended up finding the conflicting info, opinion and guilt so stressful to know what to do for the best. (i teach sen, it kept popping up so I was kept away from kids for 3 months but had possible contact again after 21 wks and had very mixed messages about if that was ok or not. In the end they did more tests.) All is fine in my case (well had last test on thurs but feel confident its clear, think the lab just messed up last 'are you immune' test) but an additional combo of being worried about an oddly out of control thyroid affecting baby plus its brain messing side effects made my mind pop. I literally thought that my body was and had the potential to harm my child. I was so delighted to be offered the vac on thurs but utterly shocked others have had so much trouble getting it.

It doesn't look like there will be an mmr type media anti vacc scrum in this case but its clear that previous media crap worries expectant mums, which imo needs to be tackled in order to make sure as many are vaccinated as possible.

Incidently the kids who may have missed out on mmr when all that was going on are, I believe, the current new intake of freshers. There's a small question as to whether we'll see a resurgence in mumps in the next year or two. Bit nervous posting that but trying to make similar point to boffin

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