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

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news