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Side effects from whooping cough jab?

(77 Posts)
Leighgirl2012 Fri 12-Oct-12 08:31:06

Hi Ladies,

I wondered if anyone has had the whooping cough jab while pregnant and if they would be willing to share any experience of side effects or lack of? I reacted badly to vaccines as a child so this is a big concern for me...

Thanks in advance!

Orenishii Fri 12-Oct-12 13:22:55

Leigh I can't remember where I linked to it now, one of the many, many, many, many threads on WC.

It was a press release from September so I don't think numbers have risen, it's just that it is so hard to GET information!

JennerOSity Fri 12-Oct-12 14:02:44

Had mine 4 days ago, feel fine. Arm felt slightly achey where the injection went in for a while but nothing to write home about.

I had flu jab week previous also fine and dandy.

newbielisa Fri 12-Oct-12 14:10:04

I had mine on Monday, flu jab in right arm and wc in left. Couldn't lie on my left side at night for 2 nights. Wednesday night brought a delicious surprise when I cautiously rolled on to my left and could stay there hurrah!! No other side effects. I was 34 + 3.

MoonHare Fri 12-Oct-12 16:58:15

Had WC in one arm and Flu in the other on 1st Oct at 37+2.

Only side effects were achy arms, WC side more than Flu side, a muscular type ache like you get if you've carried a heavy carrier bag a long way. Lasted 2 days.

I had the same jab that my 3yo daughter had back in May as her pre school booster, she was and is absolutely fine too.

coronalover Fri 12-Oct-12 19:45:33

I get the flu jab every year because I'm asthmatic, so this year I had the flu jab in one arm and the WC jab in the other. Like the other posters I had a bit of a sore arm, also felt a bit weak and feeble in the evening (but I'm 36wks so could be due to something else). I had WC as a child because my GP at the time was against that particular vaccine - my Mum has been feeling guilt for NOT giving me the jab ever since, but it's a judgement call each parent has to make.

Personally I think vaccinations are one of the single most important scientific advancements and I'll have what I can (including swine flu vac when I was pg with DC1)

mom2rhysnruby Sat 13-Oct-12 09:05:05

I had WC yesterday and where ive had it i have a big itchy red lump thats quite painful, is this normal ?

mrswee Sat 13-Oct-12 10:12:15

I had mine on thursday, both flu and WC.
I actually do think I might have a side effect. A few times now I have felt dizzy and hot and panicky like I'm about to be sick, I have to sit down and lean forward and it passes.
I have read the leaflets and it does say that dizzyiness and sickness are a possible side effect.
It happened during my hypnobirthing session last night and I had to stop the theraphist because I thought I was going to faint or be sick. it's very strange, happened again this morning, in the shower. I think it's a response to heat possibly.
I'm going to report it but I know with being pregnant it could just be a conincidence.

sleepybump Sun 14-Oct-12 21:11:26

ooo sorry didn't notice replies to my post! To answer your questions, no I'm not being contradictory, I know how very, very awful and dangerous it can be if a tiny baby catches it (for example, they can cough so hard and so relentlessly they can break their own ribs) and believe me that's my reason for having the vaccination! The issues (or suspected issues) they had in the 70s/80s as far as I understand it, have been dealt with and are no longer concerns. As for my 12mo catching it despite being vaccinated, it is very, highly unlikely you will catch it once vaccinated, but, as my GP said at the time, they are just boosters (you can't give a full vaccination to a baby, you build up the vaccination over time - it's the best you can do), and my daughter was one of those 'one in a million' (or whatever the statistic is) that still caught it. Thankfully my 12mo, was just that, 12mo and not under 6m where it is far more dangerous. The vaccination also wears off over years so an adult that was vaccinated as a youngster might also catch whooping cough, hence the boosters being given to us all now.

Whooping cough, like many viruses and diseases, has years where it is more prevailant and other quieter years in between, this is just how nature works. This year (as we all know) it has been particularly bad so anyone unvaccinated (including all newborns during that first few weeks before they are able to be vaccinated) is far more likely to catch whooping cough than they might during the 'quiet' periods. I therefore think being offered the vaccination to help immunise our babies from birth is a fantastic idea. I can only assume it hasn't been offered this way before because of there being a number of 'quiet' years or that the booster has gone through testing and is now deemed safe to use in this way, or perhaps they didn't have the knowledge before that the vaccine could be passed on to the baby in this way.

I think I covered everything there?

All the best.

sleepybump Sun 14-Oct-12 21:16:02

mom2 yes, the info they give out says swelling where the jab is given in your arm is a common side effect. If you are not sure though, or it's really bad, maybe you could call the practice to ask?


Artura Sun 14-Oct-12 23:01:27

I had it this week. Fine, teeny needle, and no pain afterwards (unlike the flu jab which was a bit achy for a couple of days).

I requested it as soon as the news came out recommending pregnant women have a booster. Reason? I'm a GP myself (shhh... don't want the anti-GP hate mail to start....) and I've diagnosed a couple of patients with whooping cough this month (confirmed with blood tests). They were young adults (immunity is known to drop 10 yrs after the original vaccination course given to children). They were both really unwell - terrible coughing attacks with vomiting for at least 6 weeks. No way I want to have anything like that - feeling rough enough being pregnant already, and the thought of my little one catching it as a tiny baby is just too horrible to think about.

Yes, vaccination may not give complete protection from catching the infection (there are lots of complicated factors involved including "herd immunity" (i.e. how may people in the community are vaccinated/immune) etc). However, it is a simple, (and free!) way of reducing your chances of catching this nasty disease and giving your baby protection over those first few months.

Anyone who has had reactions to vaccinations in the past (as far as I know, it is safe for people with a history of egg allergy) can ask their GP to speak to public health or allergy consultants if they have concerns about having the jab.

lovetolerance Sun 14-Oct-12 23:53:01

Orenishii - I'm with you. I think every woman has to make her own decision, but I really, really hate the guilt tripping and aggression you get from some people if you decide not to go for it. I think either way, we all are trying to make the right decision for our little bubs.

PigletJohn Mon 15-Oct-12 12:19:36

I know there are some people who are fundamentally opposed to vaccination, but is there anyone here who thinks that the possible side-effects of vaccination will be anywhere near as bad as the effects of the disease?

Leighgirl2012 Wed 17-Oct-12 12:32:49

pigletjohn unfortunately I don't think its that easy to weigh up!

If the side effect was a life long effect on my child...then yes!! While the vast majority of infants with whooping cough do actually recover (and also not forgetting that the vast majority of babies still don't catch it!), we can't really know what the vaccine might do longer term with respect to the baby's health... I'm not saying it WILL do something, but I do think the decision is more complex than just weighing up whether an achy arm is better than whooping cough... sad

Leighgirl2012 Wed 17-Oct-12 13:03:00

artura I have a genuine question you may be able to answer! smile Why does herd immunity come into the issue of whether the vaccine is effective for a vaccinted person? I've heard this said before, but in my mind either it works or it doesn't?

Surely herd immunity couldn't exist if it didn't work??? And likewise, if the vaccine works then why would other people catching the disease affect me? Genuinely like to know the answer to this!

PigletJohn Wed 17-Oct-12 14:57:21

leighgirl If the side effect was a life long effect on my child

you mean, like catching the disease could be?

Certainly an achy arm is nowhere near as severe as the effects of WC can be. So do you have a side effect in mind that is comparable to 12 deaths?
I'm just trying to understand the decision-making process.

Leighgirl2012 Wed 17-Oct-12 15:20:35

Well my great aunt had a thalidomide baby. That was a pretty enormous side effect.

PigletJohn Wed 17-Oct-12 15:26:30

?from a vaccination?

PigletJohn Wed 17-Oct-12 15:27:57

I mean, So do you have a side effect in mind from a WC vaccination that is comparable to 12 deaths?

Leighgirl2012 Wed 17-Oct-12 15:38:00

Thalidomide is a drug that was given to women to help with morning sickness. I'm sure that medicines are a lot safer now, but I'm sure you can appreciate my concern.

PigletJohn Wed 17-Oct-12 15:44:22

Yes, I know about Thalidomide. If there was evidence to show that the WC vaccine caused babies to be born with missing or malformed limbs, that would be an overwhelmingly terrible effect.

However AFAIK there is no effect of the vaccine which is remotely comparable to the effects of the disease.

Leighgirl2012 Wed 17-Oct-12 15:46:21

Anyway thanks girls for your replies to this! And hope you are all back to non-achy arms again now! xxx

makingitupasigo Wed 17-Oct-12 16:24:59

I'm with you on this Leighgirl, and totally confused as to what to do.

Does vaccinating a pregnant mother definitely vaccinate the child? Are there side affects for the mother, are there long term side affects for the baby? Does the vaccine actually work? These are all pretty big questions and none appear to be answered with scientific evidence as yet.

Thalidomide proved to us that taking drugs while pregnant is risky and may involve unexpected and horrific consequences, so I don't consider the "so far so good" anecdotal argument to be a particularly compelling one.

Artura (sorry to badger you, you're going to regret admitting you know your stuff!), do you know if any of the above questions have been tested/proven?

PigletJohn Wed 17-Oct-12 16:28:15


do you agree that the actual disease is serious, and has severe or life threatening effects?

makingitupasigo Wed 17-Oct-12 17:07:04

Obviously. I'm just saying that so are some side affects of taking untested drugs while pregnant.

lovetolerance Wed 17-Oct-12 17:58:23

makingitupasigo and Leighgirl2012, I'm in the same dilemma as you both. There is a similar thread here with people expressing the same concerns:

I'm interested in any further info anyone finds out.

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