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

Greens: Russel Norman To Stand Down As Co-Leader

Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party’s Annual General Meeting in May. Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM.

“After nearly a decade as Co-leader, now is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family” said Dr Norman.

“This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change. Now is a good time for new leadership for the Party. My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017." More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Eleanor Catton Rumpus

If anyone was in doubt about the accuracy of the comments made in India by Eleanor Catton, the reaction from some quarters here at home has gone a long way to proving her point… More>>

ALSO:

More Rent Assistance, Less State-Owned Housing: John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider. The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news