Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Immunising pregnant mums protects babies from whooping cough

Compelling research shows immunising pregnant mums protects babies from whooping cough

Whooping cough remains an all too common preventable disease in New Zealand and epidemics continue to occur. Fully immunised infants get their best protection by the age of 6 months, leaving a wide window of opportunity to catching this nasty disease in the first few weeks and months of life. At this age they are particularly vulnerable to severe disease; for every seven infants who catch whooping cough, at least one will end up in hospital. Tragically too, four infants have died in the past two years from complications associated with whooping cough.

“It is heartbreaking to watch a young infant cough uncontrollably with this awful disease. It causes a prolonged bad cough, which can go on to pneumonia, brain inflammation and bleeding from excessive coughing. Whooping cough is a very dangerous disease, particularly for young infants. The earliest infants can be vaccinated is from 6 weeks of age, then at 3 and 5 months. Before five months they are at risk of this highly infectious disease.

Since 2012 The Ministry of Health has funded the immunisation of pregnant mums, as they pass some of their protective antibodies onto their infant through the placenta. This may protect the new baby for the first and most vulnerable few weeks of life. Newly published research in the Lancet has taken this one step further and demonstrates the first estimates of the effectiveness of a maternal
pertussis vaccination programme in prevention of infant disease.

In this large British study that included 26,684 women and their infants there were significantly fewer cases of whooping cough in infants born to mothers who received a booster vaccination during the latter stages of their pregnancy. The vaccine was over 90% effective in preventing whooping cough in infants during their first few months of life.

Dr Helen Petousis-Harris, Director of Research at the Immunisation Advisory Centre notes “We have research showing that babies receive some maternal antibodies from their mum before birth.

But until this we had only indirect evidence that this protected the baby from actually acquiring whooping cough. These findings show that maternal immunisation with an acellular-pertussis-containing vaccine can provide over 90% protection against infant disease. This is the first time that this protection has been shown.”

The University of Auckland is currently undertaking an HRC funded study on the effectiveness of maternal vaccination with pertussis vaccine and the results will be available in 2015. Principal investigator Helen Petousis-Harris says the New Zealand study will complement the British study as it uses different methods.

This new study and the growing body of safety data shows that maternal immunisation against this disease is one of the best strategies we currently have against severe whooping cough disease in our youngest infants.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Fairfax Moves To Create Modern Newsroom

Fairfax Media New Zealand continues its newsroom transformation this week, with a proposal to further organise its editorial operations into focused, local teams and specialist national topic areas. More>>

ALSO:

Dairy: Fonterra Forecast For 2015/16 Season

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited has today reduced its forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2014/15 season to $4.40 per kgMS. Along with its previously announced forecast dividend range of 20-30 cents per share, the change amounts to a forecast ... More>>

ALSO:

BusinessDesk: SkyCity Lifts Minimum Convention Centre Investment To $430M

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino operator, has lifted the minimum it will invest in the Auckland International Convention Centre to $430 million and said total costs including land may be $450 million to $470 million. More>>

Statistics: Drop In Dairy Prices Leads Fall In Exports

Total goods exports fell $240 million (5.5 percent) to $4.2 billion in April 2015 compared with April 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>


BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>

BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news