Tuesday, 23 October 2012
ABM Health Board is reassuring pregnant women over 28 weeks that whooping cough vaccinations are available in the area.
Following a considerable increase in the number of cases of whooping cough this year, pregnant women over 28 weeks are being encouraged to have the Whooping cough vaccination and protect their baby.
So far this year, in the UK, there have been 302 cases of whooping cough in babies under three months old and 9nine deaths.
Dr. Sara Hayes, ABM Director of Public Health explains: “It’s very important mums-to-be have the whooping cough vaccination to protect their baby. Young babies are at particular risk because they are too young to have the whooping cough vaccination and so can’t protect themselves.
“We are encouraging mum to have the vaccination which will boost her antibodies and protect baby by passing the antibodies directly through the placenta. This protects baby up until they can start having their vaccinations at 8 weeks.
“Recently people have raised concerns that vaccinations aren’t available in certain areas of Wales. This is not the case in our areas of Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea. Vaccinations are available from all GP surgeries. If you are concerned please contact your GP surgery or your midwife.”
Some women may also be concerned about having a vaccination whilst they are pregnant. The vaccination is inactive and there is no evidence of a risk to pregnancy, baby or breast-feeding.
So when is the best time to get the vaccination and where can I get it from?
“The best time for mum to be vaccinated is between 28 and 38 weeks pregnant. But don’t worry if you are past 38 weeks or have recently had a baby. If you have never been vaccinated against whooping cough you can still have the vaccination.” says Dr. Hayes.
“Having the injection after 38 weeks will at least minimise the risk of mum catching whooping cough and passing it on to baby.”
The current national outbreak of whooping cough is the largest seen in the UK for over a decade with a total of 4,791 cases confirmed so far this year in England and Wales.