Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Free Whooping Cough Vaccine Essential This Season


Media Release

Date: 30 November 2012

Free Whooping Cough Vaccine Essential This Season

Caption: Hamilton mother of three Amy Thomsen recently received Waikato DHB's free whooping cough immunisation to help protect twin girls Hudson and Georgia.

Infants are at increased risk of falling prey to the national whooping cough (pertussis) epidemic as families gather to celebrate Christmas.

During this high-risk period Waikato DHB is urging pregnant women in the Waikato region to make the most of its free whooping cough immunisation.

The DHB is offering this vaccination through regional GP practices to women from 20 weeks of pregnancy up to a fortnight after the birth of their babies.

The vaccine reduces the risk of the pregnant mother contracting whooping cough and can help protect the baby for at least the first six weeks of life through antibodies passed through the placenta and through breast milk.

“The vaccine is particularly important at this time of year because 70 per cent of babies contract whooping cough from household contact,” said Waikato DHB immunisation coordinator Kim Hunter.

“Christmas increases the risk of babies contracting whooping cough. Families, who are carrying it, come together and pass it onto babies who are much more vulnerable. The illness is not seasonal so it’s vital we don’t let our guard down just because winter is over.”

Whooping cough is a very contagious illness that commonly results in bouts of severe coughing.

“The illness can cause babies to stop breathing. Severe whooping cough can lead to pneumonia, collapsed lungs, or even brain damage or death,” said Mrs Hunter.

“It’s frightening for parents to see, and we are continuing to have babies hospitalised in the Waikato.”

The symptoms can last up to three months and can be especially severe in infants under one year of age.

“This free maternal vaccination is key for protecting babies who are too young to be vaccinated. We’re also recommending that partners, siblings, and extended family members go to their GP to be vaccinated.”

Hamilton mother of three Amy Thomsen recently received the free immunisation.

"I was very pleased to be able to do something to provide some early protection for my newborn twin babies during this whooping cough outbreak.

“I would really encourage all pregnant women to get their vaccinations too so they can protect their precious babies, and then get the babies immunised on time at six weeks of age," she said.

Mrs Hunter expressed further concern that babies are not getting vaccinated on time.

“All babies should all be fully vaccinated by five months. Sadly, only 67 per cent of six-month-old babies are vaccinated and only 80 per cent of eight month old babies are vaccinated,” she said.

Childhood vaccination is free for all infants aged six weeks, three months and five months and these three doses of vaccine during infancy will protect about 80 per cent of recipients from whooping cough infection through to about 4-6 years of age.

“Being vaccinated on time, every time, dramatically decreases the risk of infant hospitalisation.”

Facts about pertussis and the vaccine:

• Around seven out of 10 babies who get pertussis before the age of six months need hospitalisation, and one in 30 of those hospitalised die from pertussis infection.
• Severe coughing can temporarily stop the oxygen supply to the brain (hypoxia). In around two per 1000 children, pertussis leads to permanent brain damage, paralysis, deafness, or blindness.
• Secondary infections such as pneumonia and ear infections can also occur.
• The disease is usually milder in adolescents and adults.
• The pertussis vaccine (Tdap) is a subunit vaccine. Subunit vaccines are not live and are generally considered safe in pregnancy. "Live” vaccines are not recommended in pregnancy.
• The vaccine provides protection against whooping cough to 84 - 88 per cent of those who receive it.
--

Check out our media releases on www.waikatodhb.health.nz/news or

www.waikatodhb.health.nz

About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:

Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 372,865 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6000 people.

Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of more than $701 million and 5238 staff. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

A wide range of independent providers deliver other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Missed Opportunities: Amnesty International Report Card On NZ's UN Role

As New Zealand steps down from its month as President of the Council, Amnesty International has taken the opportunity to review New Zealand’s role on the Council so far and assess their performance and contribution to protecting human rights worldwide. More>>

ALSO:

Prince Charles Get More Jobs: PM Announces Honorary Military Appointments

PM John Key has announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of HRH The Prince of Wales to three honorary positions: Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy; Field Marshal, New Zealand Army; Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. More>>

ALSO:

No TPP Deal: Gordon Campbell On Why We Should Still Oppose Investor-State Dispute Measures

Even in this dark hour for the TPP, the secrecy farce continues... What is left to hide? Every single negotiator went into those talks in Maui knowing exactly where everyone else stood. More>>

REACTION:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news