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Whooping cough vaccine, do they still give this in pregnancy in the uk?

(29 Posts)
ikeaismylocal Tue 02-Sep-14 21:50:41

I'm pregnant and originally from the uk but I now live in Sweden, there has been an outbreak of whooping cough here but pregnant women are not vaccinated, I want to do what is best for my baby but the midwives here are very laid back far too relaxed! about most things and they advise against vaccinating in pregnancy.

I have the option of paying for the vaccine privately but I'm hesitant because of the advice in Sweden. If I lived in the uk would I have a whooping cough vaccination? Is it controversial?

Thanks smile

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 02-Sep-14 21:52:20

Yes I have it and I am 37 weeks. If you ask people on the web it seems every vaccine including polio or flu is controversial!

CoolCat2014 Tue 02-Sep-14 21:54:07

Yes it's nationwide, given around 28-32 weeks I think.

Justgotosleepnow Tue 02-Sep-14 22:00:05

Yes you would be offered it in the uk.
It's to boost the baby's immune system til they can have their vaccination at a few weeks old. Until the they are vulnerable to get wc.
I got it, wc is really really bad.

lbmum Tue 02-Sep-14 22:19:49

I am 34+3 and have never been told about the whooping cough jab (I am in the uk). Guess I should ask my midwife when I see her tomorrow then? Why on earth has nobody mentioned it to me?!!!

ikeaismylocal Tue 02-Sep-14 22:22:38

Thanks for the advice, I'm going to go to the vaccination clinic tomorrow and ask for the wc vaccination, ds1 was really ill wit hrs virus when he was a newborn, I couldn't imagine how scary it would be for your newborn to have whooping cough sad

ikeaismylocal Tue 02-Sep-14 22:23:16

Lbmum, hopefully they'll give you the jab tomorrow!

CoolCat2014 Wed 03-Sep-14 04:08:51

Lbmum - no one mentioned it to me either, I had to ask for it. Think MW forgot.

CoolCat2014 Wed 03-Sep-14 04:10:15

Just to add, I checked and NHS website says you can have it up to 38 weeks, so you've still got time smile

squizita Wed 03-Sep-14 08:33:46

The MW should inform you about it but then usually you need to ring your GP and book it. smile

KateTheHuman Wed 03-Sep-14 08:40:50

I'm being offered it around week 28 i think.

GeorgiexXx Wed 03-Sep-14 08:41:06

I had mine a couple of days ago. I'm 30+4. I did some research and the pros outweigh the cons. Your baby is not protected for the first 2 months unless you've been vaccinated, and about 20 babies die each year from whooping cough. It's everyone's personal decision but I believe in doing everything you can to protect your baby.

mommathatwearspink Wed 03-Sep-14 08:44:06

I wasn't offered it when pregnant with DD (born in April).

twiglet2 Wed 03-Sep-14 15:16:29

I had mine yesterday. It was suggested at my 24 week appointment, so booked the jab for after my 28 week appointment yesterday (28 +3). It is a personal choice, but like other people have said, for me it was the right choice. I was in and out in minutes and have had no side effects other than a bit of an achy arm today.

Annbag Wed 03-Sep-14 15:47:01

My hospital and midwives don't offer it, I had to request it at the doctors surgery after reading about it on mumsnet! The nurse at the surgery said that a few of the midwives are against it so don't mention it. The reason is that it is untested in pregnant women. However, I work for a medical research organisation and its very rare to do clinical trials of any medicine using pregnant women (so loads of stuff is untested in that respect). In fact, men are usually used rather than any women of child bearing age just in case.

Interestingly there was a similar debate in the early 80s. My mum declined the vaccine and me and my brother caught whooping cough. I'm fine now but I think it was a scary time for my mum.

It's up to you what you decide though, have a good look at both sides x

LittlePeasMummy1 Wed 03-Sep-14 20:43:51

Yes, current national guidelines in the UK state that the vaccine should be offered to all pregnant women. The patient info leaflet below has further explanation and details safety studies.

Tranquilitybaby Wed 03-Sep-14 23:09:19

Does anyone know where I might be able to find some data as to how high the risk of a baby getting whooping cough versus the possible risk of the vaccine on a feotus? Thanks

Pico2 Wed 03-Sep-14 23:18:01

It would be really inappropriate for MW not to mention it based on their own opinions. It is a national scheme and up to women to make an informed decision.

LittlePeasMummy1 Thu 04-Sep-14 12:19:39

Hello tranquillity

The possible risks are outlined in the leaflet I have posted above. A large safety study (20,000 UK women who received the vaccine) has not identified increased risks of various adverse pregnancy outcomes (its all in the leaflet) As for the risk of your baby getting WC, it will depend on a lot of things. I'm not sure where you could find current UK infection rates ( the latest data I saw said that rates are apparently still higher than average, but lower than they were 2 years ago when the vaccination programme was introduced). However, infection rates will vary from region to region anyway and may alter when your baby is due as WC is a seasonal infection. . The most relevant risk is probably linked to how many people you will be mixing with.

squizita Thu 04-Sep-14 13:04:14

Annbag But like almost all medicines they can't do a test without exposing pregnant women and babies to the virus to see if it works!?! The safety comes from other developed nations using it for over a decade with no issues. They track the babies too. As Peas says there have been other types of safety tracking and trials too. But you just can't do "flu camp" type trials on pregnant women. The closest morally viable trial would be a double blind on some new application of a known safe drug (eg aspirin to reduce early loss) because you're not exposing anyone to a new risk.
I'm quite surprised MW wouldn't understand this because LOTS of standard drugs have been accepted as safe through follow up studies rather than in advance trials.

squizita Thu 04-Sep-14 13:05:45

So basically yes I am as confused as you!!

Annbag Thu 04-Sep-14 16:40:09

squizita - yes sorry that's what I meant, they don't do a clinical test / trial of ANYTHING in pregnant women for obvious reasons, so it's not really an excuse for midwifes to say not to have it as that argument could be used for almost everything. All they can do is look at how many women have had it with no side effects over time. So I think we are agreeing with each other :-)

It's not just one midwife at my hospital that's been funny about it, I've had this from 4 of them now. The one I saw yesterday when asked why they didn't tell me I could get it done (ended up getting it slightly late at the doctors, but done now) said 'oh we're not doctors so we don't get involved with vaccinations'. Hmmmmmm, they could still mention it exists though IMO so we can make our own choices.

Tranquilitybaby Thu 04-Sep-14 16:42:27

Thanks Littlepeas I'll have a read. X

LittlePeasMummy1 Fri 05-Sep-14 13:50:19

No probs smile

ikeaismylocal Fri 05-Sep-14 14:06:29

Thanks for all the advice! I just had the vaccination done, it cost around 35 pounds, but definitely worth it for the peace of mind it will give me!

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