Whooping cough and flu vaccines for mums-to-be

Homepage » News » Whooping cough and flu vaccines for mums-to-be

Whooping cough and flu vaccines for mums-to-be

Posted on Monday 15th October 2012

Mums-to-be in Cumbria protecting their unborn babies from whooping cough and flu.

Pregnant women are much more vulnerable to flu as they are at greater risk of developing complications such as bronchitis or pneumonia, and are invited to get the flu vaccine every year. However this year they are being asked to have a further vaccination to protect them and their unborn babies from whooping cough following an national outbreak of the disease.

An outbreak of whooping cough has lead to pregnant women being offered the vaccine to protect babies from an escalating outbreak of the disease. Getting vaccinated while pregnant can help to protect the unborn baby from developing whooping cough after it is born, in its first few weeks of life.

There are surges in whooping cough cases every three to four years and the latest outbreak started at the end of 2011. The Health Protection Service has reported that this is already the worst for more than a decade.

Jane Morphet, Immunisation Coordinator, First aid and Resuscitation Lead Public Health, NHS Cumbria said: “We is please that pregnant women over 28 weeks are contacting GP practices to arrange for whooping cough booster vaccination.

“There seems to be a good understanding amongst the pregnant women that having the vaccine will enable them to pass protection to the unborn baby, thus protecting them until they are old enough to be vaccinated.”

GPs are best placed to administer the whooping cough vaccine as part of the flu vaccine campaign for pregnant women. The vaccine that will be used is Repevax, which is a standard children’s vaccine and is in stock currently.

Both vaccines are free for all pregnant women 28-38 weeks into their pregnancy and can be given at the same time as flu vaccine. It is preferable to give the vaccines in different arms.

Any women less than 28 weeks should have the flu vaccine now to protect the mother from flu, and later this protection will also pass to baby. They should them be advised to return at 28 weeks for Repevax to ensure new born baby gains some protection against whooping cough.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs and airways. It usually begins with a persistent dry and irritating cough that progresses to intense bouts of coughing. These are followed by a distinctive 'whooping' noise, which is how the condition gets its name.

Other symptoms include a runny nose, raised temperature and vomiting after coughing.

Posted on Monday 15th October 2012

 

 
Bookmark and Share

© Copyright NHS Cumbria CCG 2019. All rights reserved.