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Whooping cough jab - straw poll...

(56 Posts)

Did you have it or not?



purrpurr Tue 12-Feb-13 15:49:02

Would anyone be able to answer a couple of questions?

Firstly, I thought I'd heard (only in the media, not exactly a reputable source, and this is why I'm not googling this) that the percentage of pregnant women having the vaccine had gone through the roof but the cases of whooping cough were rising regardless of this - and I think it was suggested that the vaccine in some way was no longer effective, that the virus/bacteria had developed to be resistant? Did I dream all this?

Secondly, folk are saying this vaccine has been in use in other countries for years. Is the vaccine we are being offered exactly the same vaccine? When I was researching the MMR jab, I found suggestions that several other countries had changed their own vaccines (the strain used in them) years before we did precisely because they found causal evidence of developmental issues, disorders etc. We were the last country to change the strain used in our jab, in a reluctant, dragging-of-heels British sort of way ('you say it causes what? Oh, for Pete's sake. Right, fine. What a waste of a good batch of medicine. Fine.')

rainand Tue 12-Feb-13 16:06:09


Good questions. The answer to the second is that it isn't the exact same vaccine.

purrpurr Tue 12-Feb-13 16:20:04

rain I wonder why that is. It's always so reassuring to hear that other countries are issuing vaccines that we've been a bit upset about because of the media uproar - of course I'm sure other countries have their own media fairies going mad about vaccines we're probably fine with. It's not quite as reassuring when it turns out we're not dishing out the same vaccines as other countries. I have no medical knowledge whatsoever, so I would not know if, in a rather crap analogy, we were issuing vaccines made out of jam and other countries were issuing marmalade, but we all called it the same thing.

The fact that there is a live page on the government's website devoted to those who need to claim for disabilities or disorders following a vaccine disturbs me slightly, also. It's like if you don't immediately Do The Right Thing you're an irresponsible lentil-weaving idiot.

MaMaPo Tue 12-Feb-13 16:24:36

OP, I had it at about 32 weeks with no ill-effects and a healthy baby.

She'll be getting her own vaccination for WC this week.

I would go for it, both for yours and baby's health, and for the sake of herd immunity.

rainand Tue 12-Feb-13 16:31:02

Lars on page (in comments) asks some good questions, which I'd like to see the answer to:

1. What is the efficacy of pre-natally administered Revepax?
2. Is there any published safety data on pre-natal Revepax?
3. is there any published safety data on pre-natal Tdap (the USA vaccine)
4. if a pregnant mother has the antibodies (from a previous vaccination or illness) does Revepax confer any additional protection?

Why not publish all the data used by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation when making this recommendation?

twinklesparkles Tue 12-Feb-13 17:22:26


To protect ny child until their 8 week jab

DeathMetalMum Tue 12-Feb-13 17:42:22

I had it. I know of children in the area who have/had whooping cough in the last 6 months. Dp also had it when he was younger.

I tried to book my appointment right in the middle of the reccomended time. Though ended up slightly earlier.

DeathMetalMum Tue 12-Feb-13 17:52:28

purrpurr The number of whopping cough cases in December was half in comparison to November.

So it seems the jab may be having an effect.

noblegiraffe Tue 12-Feb-13 17:54:38

There is no efficacy or safety data because the vaccine hasn't been trialled on pregnant women.

However, we do know that antibodies that the mother makes in response to the whooping cough vaccine cross the placenta and it is thought that this would confer protection on the baby, as this is how it works with other antibodies.

The Repevax vaccine is the one being given because babies are dying and it is the only whopping cough vaccine available right now in the UK in sufficient quantities to vaccinate pregnant women as well as the children scheduled to have it.

3 of the 4 vaccines contained in Repevax have been given to pregnant women in the US for over a year. Polio hasn't been administered on a wide scale however it has been given to pregnant women who have needed it (e.g. for travel) without problems.

None of the vaccines in Repevax are live, they don't contain live polio, whooping cough etc. From what we know about how dead vaccines work, it just doesn't make any sense that they could harm an unborn baby, and no dead vaccine has been shown to cause any problems in pregnant women.

I had the vaccine.

TheCountessOlenska Tue 12-Feb-13 18:03:53

I had it, and the flu jab at the same time in my other arm!

I had the controversial swine flu jab last time I was pregnant so this seemed tame in comparison grin

Best not to over think these things in my opinion.

Lamazeroo Tue 12-Feb-13 18:18:53

I wouldn't have it. First, I really, really object to it being referred to as 'the whooping cough jab' when pertussis is just one of the diseases contained in the vaccination. No one has ever examined the effect of vaccinating pregnant women against five pathogens at once.
My second concern is that it's experimental. I don't know about you but I don't appreciate effectively being a guinea pig. There is no evidence that pertussis antibodies generated by immunisation cross the placenta.
And lastly, there is theoretical concern that it may interfere with vaccine uptake in the first few months of life.
I'll watch for the results of the experiment (because that's what it is) but at the moment I'm very wary. Also, the current wave of whooping cough diagnoses is NOT due to lack of immunisation. Vaccination rates for whooping cough have never been higher. More than 90% of diagnosed cases are occurring in individuals who have been vaccinated. Plus, the Australian experiment of cocoon vaccines proved ineffective.

KelleStar Tue 12-Feb-13 18:19:34

I have had it @ 28 weeks. Though not at my surgery, there have been 4 deaths in my PCT and know someone who's 9mo DD was hospitalised with it.

RubyrooUK Tue 12-Feb-13 18:25:24

I had the WC vaccine. I had WC very seriously as a baby myself and almost died so I was keen not to risk that happening to my own child.

As someone said, they give the same vaccine to very young babies so I feel that absorbing it into my system and passing it to the baby that way is reasonably safe.

Is it truly effective? I have no idea. But having almost died from WC myself, I'd rather have the vaccine any day if there is a good chance (or indeed any chance) that it offers my baby protection. Since I apparently have no immunity left from WC - which seems VERY UNFAIR - the vaccine was the right choice for me.

rainand Tue 12-Feb-13 18:26:03

Lamazeroo, that's an interesting perspective.

I have had the whooping cough almost throughout my pregnancy (I'm now 25 weeks), does this mean my body has already produced anti-bodies for it and therefore there is no need to have the jab?

noblegiraffe Tue 12-Feb-13 18:49:27

There is no evidence that pertussis antibodies generated by immunisation cross the placenta

Yes there is. Do you think they'd be doing this massive vaccination programme in the UK and US if they didn't know this?!

noblegiraffe Tue 12-Feb-13 18:58:48

Rain, it's advised that you still have the vaccine to maximise antibody transfer. Antibody transfer is minimal till about 34 weeks, so the vaccine is timed so that the peak of antibodies generated by the vaccine coincides with the best time for maximum antibody transfer.
You would still transfer some antibodies, but obviously the more, the better chance of protecting your baby.

OpenMindedSceptic Fri 15-Feb-13 15:29:01

Due to have WC jab next week but still undecided confused

Ellypoo Fri 15-Feb-13 16:00:38

Yes and I don't know why anyone would risk their baby's health by not having it.

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Fri 15-Feb-13 16:04:26

Had mine today.
Read everything available. Have medical background but wouldn't have all vaccines (didn't have swine flu jab in last pg).
This is an inactive vaccine. The risk is really incredibly low. In the end if I'd not had it and my baby was permanently damaged from whooping cough I'd never forgive myself. The risk of that seemed higher than the risk from the jab.
My arm aches but no regrets.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 15-Feb-13 17:05:23

Out of interest HP - why this and not the swine flu jab? I thought they were all inactive (if offered to pregnant women) and also I thought that it was the other ingredients in the vaccine (eg. mercury) that concerned people, not the actual disease being injected iyswm? Prepared to be corrected as I really know very little about it - just do what I'm told by HPs smile

lucybrad Fri 15-Feb-13 18:29:57

I find it a little bit hmm when it is mentioned that the swine flu incident was 'just a bit of scaremongering'. Again many of healthy adults and children died in britain from this!

HPsauceonbaconbuttiesmmm Fri 15-Feb-13 19:06:23

countess, with my logical head I knew it was low risk, but it was right at the start of offering the vaccine to pregnant women, and at first it was only the one with mercury that was available. I looked at the base materials and wasn't happy. Wasn't worried about the swine flu bit itself.
I did subsequently have the jab following pregnancy and had the flu jab this time with the swine flu component. Better made now.
It was an incredibly difficult choice with my first pregnancy and with hindsight I shouldn't have worried. But you make your choice with the best intentions.

Crazytictac Fri 15-Feb-13 20:15:28

I was very undecided and still wasn't entirely comfortable having it, but did have the jab this week at 31 weeks.

On the HPA website, the total number of baby deaths has risen to 14 (although the numbers contracting it are decreasing). Having no medical knowledge, I put my faith in those that do and who are advising it including all the top bodies. That said, I do understand why some women won't have the jab and was very much on the fence myself for months.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 15-Feb-13 20:28:43

HP fair enough - I worried about having it too but my horror of flu outweighed my concerns blush The Whooping Cough jab I have no concerns about though as they give it to little babies anyway.

worsestershiresauce Fri 15-Feb-13 21:36:35

I had it. I'm a great believer in vaccines, they protect us and help control the spread of disease. If my baby died from WC (not a completely unrealistic worry given the high rates where I live) I would never forgive myself. I would also never get over it.

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