Maternal whooping cough vaccinations are now more important than ever as maternal immunity may be lower than pre-pandemic years. This year there have been three newborn deaths at 4, 5 and 7 weeks of age from whooping cough – all from different areas of the country.
Pregnant people can receive a free dose of Tdap vaccine (Boostrix – which covers diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough) in every pregnancy. It is recommended to be given from 16 weeks gestation, preferably in the second trimester to protect both the mother and her infant from whooping cough. Second trimester vaccination maximises transfer of antibodies to the fetus prior to delivery and may provide some protection for those born early.
The effectiveness and safety of maternal whooping cough vaccination is well established. Young infants experience the highest attack rates and most hospitalisations and deaths from whooping cough. Numerous studies have evaluated the safety and there is no evidence of adverse obstetric events or adverse birth outcomes.
More information about immunisation during pregnancy can be found here: https://www.immunise.health.nz/immunisation-during-pregnancy/
From the Team at Ranolf Medical Centre
Phone: 07 347 7537