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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....

PacificDogwood Sat 06-Oct-12 13:39:40

VQ, so true, so true - and why do they keep pestering me and not Daddy?? hmm

dontlaugh Sat 06-Oct-12 13:46:07

I am currently in paediatric unit on night 3 with my ds.,we are waiting on test results to check if he has wc. If I had the chance when pregnant to get this, I would have. That is all.

ValiumQueen Sat 06-Oct-12 14:01:13

dontlaugh I do hope your wee one is soon home and well thanks

crackcrackcrak Sat 06-Oct-12 14:16:15

Hi folks - still reading and keeping up with the thread - thank you

Ok so I have ousted this on a bf fb page. Apart from being told homeopathy will protect dd2 from WC wink they are also saying the Vax may not be effective unless the mother is planning to bf. I will be bf anyway but I was wondering if any of you wise folk had come across anything similar?

ValiumQueen Sat 06-Oct-12 14:21:13

crack I have been told bfing doesn't make a jot of difference with this one, but obviously has proven health benefits for mum and child. I will be feeding also.

Thumbwitch Sat 06-Oct-12 14:27:03

Crack, I can't believe that to be the case. The given reason you have it between 28 and 38 weeks is to give you time to produce the antibodies yourself and let them cross the placenta, to protect your baby by passive immunity transfer. As it's a booster jab (in most cases) the antibodies you produce should be IgG in type, which are the ones that can cross the placenta.
You will also pass the antibodies on via breast milk, however - but a different class of antibodies (IgA).

Both are protective for the baby.

StuntNun Sat 06-Oct-12 15:22:51

Crack your baby receives IgG antibodies from you across the placenta in late pregnancy (pre-term babies therefore receive fewer antibodies than babies born at term). When you get the whooping cough vaccine then your own immune system will produce lots of IgG antibodies in response. These circulate in your blood and some then pass across the placenta and will protect your baby from whooping cough for the first couple of months of his/her life.

Novemberbaby101112 Sat 06-Oct-12 17:27:09

Please read this- i posted it above.

Breast feeding will provide little protection against whooping cough.

And there is no proof either way to as whether immunity will pass across the placenta- and if it does, there is no evidence to say how mch protection will be give.

it would certaintly be unwise to go around thinking that because you have had it that your baby will not catch whooping cough for the first 8 week of its life.

It is even possible for babies to catch whooping cough after their first vaccination at 8 weeks. they are only likely to be immune after they have had their 2, 4 and 6 month vaccinations. they then have a booster at 3 years old.

Clarella Sat 06-Oct-12 17:53:52

Thanks for sorting out my igg and iga's, that was the last bit of the puzzle I wanted to know (get it in relation to slapped cheek but couldn't work it out for wc) purely cos i forgot all my a level biology and knew I knew it once!

Been busy all day but to respond to emonslemons vastly increased risk from pov of sheer numbers of confirmed cases as can be seen on hpa website. I teach sen (asd) children. We always get what they get. On an anecdotal level admittedly, there are years when things have definately been on the increase - in 11 years of teaching I heard of one case of slapped cheek 8 years ago. This year, right when I was 9 wks pregnant, we had several that kept popping up. I wasn't immune. The stress was horrid. According to hpa, this was a big year for slapped cheek . We also had a huge outbreak of chicken pox too. (im blaming all the bloody indoor play due to rain but I know its not that!) Dangers in reality are not as statistically and after 20 wks not as comparatively large (if known about) as wc infection. So I look at the comparative figures of reported wc (as the doh did) and think crikey, I want that jab, and id be very grateful if as many people got it as possible. I'm all for personal choice but there has been an impact from children not having the mmr (m outbreaks) following rubbish science (andrew wakefield had developed separate vaccines that he wanted to sell btw) and even more rubbish reporting. Sorry for slightly off topic rant, its something I get rather riled about.

Dontlaugh very much hope your ds is ok and gets better soon thanks

Valiumqueen, you should become valiantqueen smile

Clarella Sat 06-Oct-12 17:56:19

Nov, haven't read that yet as in phone but there must have been a weight of 'better than nothing' for the experts to make the choice to do so. Plus then mum has had her top up.

Novemberbaby101112 Sat 06-Oct-12 18:09:33

Hi Clarella,
Yes they are pretty certain that it will have some effect. The chances are the effect will differ between individual women and their babies- as i would imagine its linked to how efficient your placenta is etc (i am no medical expert though).

But do have a read through when you can- its very interesting.

My main concern is the question over whether vaccinating ourselves now will reduce the effect of the vaccine when the babies have it later on. The minutes say that they don't know if that will happen- so they will be looking at the results of what happens to our children to find out. which made me a little uncomfortable because i feel like my baby is a guinea pig. yes it would be great if they don't get it in the first 8 weeks of life as they are certaintly the most vulnerable- but if the result is that they aren't well protected for their months and years beyond that i am not sure if it is worth it.

i'm very torn over what to do. i'm not even sure if getting the vaccine is an option in my area/gp. i will find out on tuesday apparently.

ValiumQueen Sat 06-Oct-12 18:12:35

clarella thank you, I think grin

crackcrackcrak Sat 06-Oct-12 19:14:11

This is why mn is the source of all wisdom' I will be reading up on the anti bodies with interest. grin

StuntNun Sat 06-Oct-12 19:29:51

November there is a distinct possibility that the babies won't respond as well to their vaccines at 2 months but this will be mitigated by the fact that these vaccines are given repeatedly to continue stimulating the immune system.

lovetolerance Sun 07-Oct-12 02:43:20

Novemberbaby101112 and emonslemons, I’m with you. I know it’s an awful illness and no mother wants to risk their baby getting it, but choices about medicines in pregnancy have to be taken rationally and based on evidence. It can’t be made through fear. The vaccine they are going to give is called Repevax, which is never normally administered to under 3s and not the one they are giving in the US. It's the pre-school booster that kids get here and it's not recommended for under 3s. Why aren’t they using the 5-1 that you get for 2 month old babies? It better not be a cost decision.

Repevax is not advised for pregnant women because it's never been trialed on pregnant women. I'm so nervous when the info they are putting into the public domain is so one-sided, because it's not factual – they can’t possibly say there are no risks when they don’t know the risks. I want all the facts so that I can make my decision and I really want to avoid being scared by the media coverage into making a decision that's not right.

I think we've got to weigh it all up against the rates. In Scotland there have been 65 cases this year in under 3 month olds when around 60, 000 babies are born a year. So even with very conservative guesswork less than 0.2% get it, and there will be variances as to how severe it is in each of those cases (that's not to say I'd be ok with a new baby getting it at all, even if it was mild). But I find it odd that they don't say how many were under 2 months, because there's a 95% rate of the 2 month immunisation for babies in Scotland, so how many of the 65 cases were actually in immunised kids between the age of 2-3 months?

I'm confused. My gut instinct tells me to stick to my guns about a drug-free pregnancy, but I don't know. I think I'll discuss with my midwife and see what she thinks. She's very pragmatic and would tell me what-she-would-do type of thing, rather than standard advice. I hate having this decision to make.

lovetolerance Sun 07-Oct-12 02:45:00

Would just add - if this was a single vaccine, I would find this a much easier decision. Does anyone know when/if they plan to have a single vaccine?

crackcrackcrak Sun 07-Oct-12 11:01:16

Love tolerance - that's v concerning. I am leaning toward not having it at present. Simply because the risk is less than it sounds really pitched against the risk of an untested vaccine. Even though dd2 is term inntuesday and unlikely to come to much harm I just can't justify it to myself sad

dontlaugh Sun 07-Oct-12 11:19:56

Thanks Valium we are home today, much improved but still no test results as they take a few days. To anyone debating the potential side effects of the vaccine I can only repeat what someone else said earlier, the side effect of whooping cough in newborns is death in some cases. A very final side effect really.

SomebodyIUsedToKnow Sun 07-Oct-12 12:21:00

Lovetolerance - I too would prefer a single vaccine.

I'm really torn over this, and whilst I really don't want to run the risk of my baby catching such a dangerous illness, I don't think it's a cut-and-dried decision we are being asked to make...

lovetolerance Sun 07-Oct-12 13:47:29

SomebodyIUsedToKnow & crackcrackcrak, it's such a tough choice. I'm terrified by the thought of our baby getting whooping cough, but then I'm also terrified at the thought of how the vaccine could affect a baby that is not fully developed. Does anyone know why can't they give the normal vaccine to newborns - why do they wait until 2 months? I'm so terrified of this choice. I haven't taken as much as a paracetamol throughout my pregnancy and have already decided against the flu jab. But this is different. I just want to make an informed decision.

Brightspeed Thu 22-Nov-12 01:39:08

I am keen to thank Novemberbaby for posting the link to those Minutes which I really do think should be made known to all pregnant ladies who are being advised to have the whooping cough vaccine.

I'm now coming up to 35 weeks and have been putting off having the vaccine as I didn't like the idea of being a guinea pig but am anxious to do the right thing for my baby. It's a nightmare having to decide when there is for and against both options. So I decided to wait to see what feedback and facts came through from forums like this re the pros and cons.

The Minutes Novemberbay posted told me all I needed to know - they are not sure the whooping cough antibodies pass to your baby, by us having the vaccine it could 'blunt' how well our baby gets resistance through their after birth jabs, and most shockingly of all, that the Polio part of this vaccination is considered dangerous for pregnant women to take by the medical profession: - in this it states that the type of Polio in this vaccine (IPV) "can potentially be transmitted to the unborn child and might result in miscarriage, premature birth, or birth defects". Plus, there is an unnerving amount of references in these Minutes to how keen they are to follow the current women and babies to see what long term effect using this vaccination might have - we're the lab rats!

I literally found this forum and these Minutes a few hours before I was due to have my whooping cough vaccination and once I had read them and checked out the Polio etc references etc,. I 'phoned and cancelled my appointment. I'd much rather try and avoid public places for the first 8 weeks of my babys life than take the risk of having the jab.

I am only grateful that this information was made available to me. Thank you.

PeshwariNaan Thu 22-Nov-12 09:44:07

The polio vaccine is not technically considered 'dangerous'. The live (oral) one is a bad idea, but the IPV just hasn't been tested in pregnant women (like so, so many other drugs and vaccines). Brightspeed I don't see where you're getting that quote about IPV from that webpage, and I've scoured it! Source?

Everyone has to make their own decision on this one, personally I had mine yesterday and while I wish it was a single vax, I weighed up the benefits and risks as well I could and had it.

It's not just public places - I'm not planning on taking mine hardly anywhere for 8 weeks! - it's anyone who can come into contact with your baby. For example, my DH commutes on London transport every day, a giant germ factory. I'm expecting grandparents will want to visit and I don't want to completely ban everyone. In the US, grandparents and partners are all instructed to get the jab as well to fully protect the baby.

RooneyMara Thu 22-Nov-12 09:54:23

Oh crikey. I cancelled mine already once in order to do some reading up, but I'm as confused as ever.

So this vaccine might cause birth defects? Is that right?

And it's likely to make the baby respond less well to its 2 month vaccine?

Bit of a gamble isn't it.

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Thu 22-Nov-12 09:58:50

I've just had the whooping cough and the flu vaccines.

It wasn't a offer I had to deliberate over.

Not sure what birth defects can be caused after 28 weeks by a vaccine?

PeshwariNaan Thu 22-Nov-12 10:17:05

Read the minutes of the vaccination meeting here:

Nowhere is there anything to give indication that birth defects are associated with the vaccine! In fact Brightspeed's quote above isn't even from the webpage she cited - I'm waiting to hear where she got it from.

Personally I found the minutes reassuring.

And yes, giving the vaccine at 28-38 ensures the foetus is fully formed and only putting fat on/ practising breathing/ adding antibodies to its system.

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