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Whooping cough vaccine while pregnant, worrying?

(142 Posts)
Keznel Tue 21-May-13 22:19:05

Just wondering if anyone else feeling reluctant to get the whooping cough vaccination now recommended for 28-38wks pregnant? I'm currently 20wks and really concerned about getting it, but guess I have plenty of time to make my mind up yet confused. I had DD in the peak of a whooping cough epidemic back (last year) when it wasn't offered to pregnant women! She thankfully was fine and got her own vaccinations at 8wks etc Just wondering if I'm alone in stressing about this? Or should I just do as I'm told and get it?

Tabitha8 Sun 26-May-13 22:29:56

Presumably the Repevax will protect the newborn against all the diseases? I realise that newborns in the UK are unlikely to be at risk from tetanus and polio. Not sure about diphtheria.

Apparently, aluminium ingested by the mother can pass through the placenta.

Keznel Mon 27-May-13 07:32:47

But happy to risk a potential CNS disorder?(Sorry just wanted to respond with an equally emotive statement) I get that most people on this thread are pro vaccine. I simply do not know! I am behind the childhood vaccination programme, but when considering toxins its all about dose, whats injected and is perfectly safe for me, may not be for a developing baby, how can you know for sure?! This is the first time this vaccine has been given to pregnant women it could take years for any harmful affects to present in those children whose mothers choose to have it. But I will be talking to several people in the health care sector over the weeks to come including my obstetrician, I will also continue my own research, only then will I make my final decision. I have 7-17 weeks to make up my mind. Everyone can only do what they feel is right at the time once all the information is weighed up.

Keznel Mon 27-May-13 08:22:53

Just a further note on aluminium before I leave this thread for a while smile to do some further reading/investigation. We thankfully as a family do not consume or use a lot of the products that are thought to be high in aluminium. But everyone has some aluminium in their bodies. It is babies below 6 months that are especially prone to absorbing it and not so great at getting rid of it.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 10:03:02

It's given at a late stage of pregnancy when all the major organs are developed and the baby just really needs a bit more time to grow.

Information about aluminium in vaccines here:

For comparison:
"A. During the first 6 months of life, infants could receive about 4 milligrams of aluminum from vaccines. That’s not very much: a milligram is one-thousandth of a gram and a gram is the weight of one-fifth of a teaspoon of water. During the same period, babies will also receive about 10 milligrams of aluminum in breast milk, about 40 milligrams in infant formula, or about 120 milligrams in soy-based formula."

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 10:06:21

Ingested is different to injected.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 10:31:48

The report I linked to does address that.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 10:41:43

Not really, and it's not really a report, it's publicity material.

"A. Most of the aluminum that enters the body is eliminated quickly. Though all of the aluminum present in vaccines enters the bloodstream, less than 1 percent of aluminum present in food is absorbed through the intestines into the blood."

For example, this is misleading. It gives the impression that less than one per cent of aluminium in vaccines is absorbed to the body. It doesn't directly say that, but it gives that impression. In fact aluminium in vaccines doesn't go to the gut, and 100 per cent of aluminium in vaccines is in the bloodstream.

"Either way, most of the aluminum in the bloodstream is immediately bound by a protein called transferrin, which carries aluminum
to the kidneys where it is eliminated from the body."

So less one per cent of ingested aluminium goes to the kidneys but 100 per cent of injected (vaccine) aluminium goes to the kidneys.

"The ability of the body to rapidly eliminate aluminum accounts for its excellent record of safety."

Again this seems to reference the "more than 99 pc" of ingested aluminium which is eliminated in the stool.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 10:46:05

Perhaps we could use the figures in your post earlier.
10 mili grams of aluminium in breastmilk = more than 99 p c eliminated in stool therefore less than 1 mg to kidneys for processing
4 mg of aluminium in vaccines = 100 pc in the bloodstream and to the kidneys

So you see there is a four-fold difference (not in vaccines favour).

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 10:46:40

This bit:

"Because both breast milk and infant formula contain aluminum, all babies have small quantities of aluminum in their bloodstreams all the time. The amount is very small: about 5 nanograms (billionths of a gram) per milliliter of blood (about one-fifth of a teaspoon). Indeed, the quantity of aluminum in vaccines is so small that even after an injection
of vaccines, the amount of aluminum in a baby’s blood does not detectably change"

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 10:58:39

"Indeed, the quantity of aluminum in vaccines is so small that even after an injection of vaccines, the amount of aluminum in a baby’s blood does not detectably change"

There's no evidence here to support this, it seems to be just a statement. It cannot in fact be true because 100 per cent of vaccine aluminium enters the bloodstream. If you can link the evidence to support it that would be great. (I mean a study, not publicity material)

Sunnysummer Mon 27-May-13 11:03:00

My friend's baby died of whooping cough, passed on by a visiting toddler whose mother had (secretly) decided not to vaccinate her kids... Whooping cough really is so dangerous and with the prevalence right now I not only got it myself but made DH and GPs get it too..

If you have concerns, perhaps it's worth chatting about with your midwife, they do have good advice including for specific conditions and concerns?

CatherinaJTV Mon 27-May-13 11:13:11

Sunnysummer - that is horrific sad

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 11:25:16

The references are there, Crumbled. I don't have access to the full papers.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 11:58:03

In that case I shouldn't think I do either, noblegiraffe. Unless you can supply the link you're asking me to take it on trust. Given that there's a significantly misleading paragraph in the link you did supply, I don't feel able to do that.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 12:09:22

Tabitha8, can you remember when that thread was that you just mentioned.

CatherinaJTV Mon 27-May-13 12:37:22


as far as I can see, you have not provided a reference for your 100% of vaccine aluminium ends up in blood. I know for a fact that this is not what happens in animal studies (rabbits injected with radioactive aluminium).

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 12:55:07

I didn't say it "ends up" in blood, I think you must be confused.

Noblegiraffe was comparing figures which can't be compared, so I explained why. Only one per cent or less of ingested aluminium has the potential to enter the bloodstream via the kidneys, whereas 100 p c of vaccine aluminium must be processed by the kidneys and has potential to end up in the bloodstream.

That's four times as much injected aluminium than ingested aluminium. You don't need a link, it's just maths. Unless you want a link for "less than 99 p c" which you could find in noblegiraffe's publicity link.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 12:57:47

Have just found this, it wasn't that hard actually Tabitha, I should have done it myself first time.

CatherinaJTV Mon 27-May-13 19:13:01

Crumbled, you still need a link to support your claim - I don't see one. I may have missed it. Humour me, please. Off the top of my head, about 17% of injected aluminium end up in blood, but that takes days (; also, the 4mg which you keep mentioning here are the maximum a child would get in 6 months on the US schedule.

I think people who are against vaccination will find something to be enraged about, aluminium is the new thimerosal and all that. If I had another baby, I would totally get the booster shot! I have several friends whose babies had pertussis at around 4 months of age and it was horrendous. I cannot imagine a smaller infant with it. Vaccines saves lives.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 19:17:16

No I don't - I didn't make the claim you said I made. I think you're confused.

Are you suggesting that injected aluminium travels to the kidneys via the gut?

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 19:19:14

"I think people who are against vaccination will find something to be enraged about"

I think you are rather putting the cart before the horse there.

Crumbledwalnuts Mon 27-May-13 19:26:27

It was noblegiraffe who mentioned 4mg.

By the way I got my maths wrong. Only 0.1mg of breastmilk aluminium is off to the kidneys for processing after digestion. That's forty times less than vaccine (injected) aluminium (according to noblegiraffe's figures).

40 times less. Vaccine amount 40 times higher.

Tabitha8 Mon 27-May-13 19:40:51

Walnuts Pleased you found the aluminium thread. I'm not sure I would have found it smile.

Sunnysummer Mon 27-May-13 19:42:15

Thanks Catherina.

My friend had to watch as her little girl took only 2 weeks to go from a happy little newborn, to having a slight cough, to struggling to breathe, to getting pneumonia and finally to dying of multiple organ failure with her parents helpless by her crib. This is despite being born absolutely healthy, being diagnosed very early and getting specialist help from a very good hospital.

Like the OP, I'm the type not to use fake tan, paracetamol and the like while pregnant, and in an ideal world I'd love to avoid having any injections. But what scares me a little here is that somehow these threads end up comparing the risk of testably undetectably amounts of aluminium with the very small but very measurable and very horrific risk of death. For my child's sake and my own, I thought it was very important to get this vaccine.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 19:46:22

It does seem to be theoretical risk versus definite one. No one wants to see babies come to harm.

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