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

 

Scoop Business: NZ Wool Exports Jump To The Highest In More Than A Decade

New Zealand wool exports jumped to their highest level in more than a decade in June, aided by a lower currency and strong demand from China, the nation’s largest market. More>>

ALSO:

Surreal Estate: Home Values Rise At Fastest Rate In Seven Years

The latest monthly QV House Price Index shows that nationwide residential property values for July have increased 10.1% over the past year which is the fastest annual rate since 2007... The Auckland market has increased 18.8% year on year. More>>

ALSO:

New Employment Laws: Talley’s AFFCO Workers To Strike

The decision comes after the Talley’s owned company walked away from mediation last week and applied to end bargaining under the government’s new employment laws - the first such application since the law came into effect. More>>

ALSO:

Private Action: Employer Pleads Guilty Over Forestry Death

The CTU has always known that the death of forestry worker Charles Finlay was due to the poor health and safety practices of his employer... "The CTU, with the support of Charles’s family, needed to take this ground breaking private prosecution." More>>

ICT Innovation: Six NZ Finalists In World Summit Awards

The awards are a global showcase of 40 projects, across eight categories, with a special emphasis on those which show the benefits of information and communication technology for the development of communities. New Zealand has finalists in six of the eight categories. More>>

ALSO:

Final Frontier: Rocket Lab And NASA Sign Commercial Space Launch Agreement

Rocket Lab has signed a Commercial Space Launch Act Agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The agreement enables Rocket Lab to use NASA resources - including personnel, facilities and equipment - for launch and reentry efforts. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news