Posts Tagged ‘Pertussis’

Whooping Cough Vaccination

Written by admin on December 30th, 2010. Posted in Preparing for Pregnancy

If you’ve ever seen footage of a baby suffering with Whooping Cough (Pertussis) you’d never wave away the vaccine saying “No I don’t want to unduly overload my baby with chemicals!” without doing a lot of research and reviewing many legitimate opinions on this particular vaccine. I’ll say it from the outset, I had my ‘Protective Mummy’ hat on and was suspicious of all vaccines but after researching decided we were comfortable with going ahead and vaccinating our twins for Whooping Cough (and Tetanus, Diptheria, Polio ie: DTaP). They now use acellular Pertussis components, which means that it causes fewer reactions than the old ‘whole cell’ Triple Antigen or DPT vaccine, which was given to children between 1954 and 1997.

Be prepared by the time your little one arrives. Research, talk to your GP and if you decide ‘yes, this is a responsible protection for my baby and the benefits outweigh the risks’ ask your immediate family members and anyone in extensive contact with baby for first 6 months to get a shot with their GP well before baby is born. It takes 2 weeks to become effective. Whooping Cough is really picking up steam and now common in Australia and throughout the world with 1 in 200 babies who contract it, dying. Terribly. It presents just like a simple cough/cold and adults may be carriers without showing any signs of having it. There is sometimes but not always a characteristic ‘whooping’ sound at the end of each coughing spasm as the sufferer struggles to get air back into their lungs and then vomits. In 2009 a little baby girl, 4 week old Dana McCaffery died on the NSW north coast (Brisbane Times Article) and in South Australia recently a 5 week old boy was lost. I urge you to read their stories.

It’s a horrendous infection. The visions I have seen of inflicted babies/children look as though they are being strangled. They cough 50 or 60 times, go blue and vomit. They simply cannot breathe. I cannot post footage of these babies as it is too distressing. If you need further proof of how horrendous (and highly contagious) this infection is, please Google it, You Tube it and see whatever you need to see to motivate you to pick up the phone and book your doctor to discuss it. Vaccinations are now free for children in Australia under the Immunise Australia Program.

As mothers are very often the person responsible for passing on the infection, it is best before you even start trying to conceive to go to your GP to discuss it. It’s a single shot but if you are already pregnant you cannot have the immunisation until after the birth. You can do it the very next day but it takes 2 weeks to become effective. If you choose to, all family should be asked to do it well before bub is born. We had friends whose whole family contracted Whooping Cough while she was pregnant and they were all extremely ill for three long months. After the baby was born he was chronically sick within his first 2 weeks of life being subjected to spinal taps and blood tests to assess his illness which eventuated as Bronchiolitis. I’m sure being exposed in utero to Whooping Cough did nothing to strengthen his resistance to respiratory illness. At 6 months of age he went back into hospital again very sick with another respiratory infection.

My opinion, and as they say, opinions are like a-holes and everybody’s got one. In my opinion it’s simply not worth the risk. The new acellular Whooping Cough vaccine developed to have fewer side effects has been around for over a decade now and is tried and tested. Do the research, talk to the doctors, and make an informed choice.

While on the subject of making informed choices on vaccines, I never supported the H1N1 ‘swine flu’ vaccine that was rushed through testing and pushed out to a fearful market within a year. CSL’s share price was certainly not hurt by it’s deployment but many children were. I scoffed and declined every offer by the midwives for the H1N1 vaccine for our twins. And luckily so, when a few weeks later it was shown on national news that children were convulsing and dying from it. One baby who passed away after receiving the H1N1 vaccine was one of twins. I cried for a long time hearing that news. Whatever they tell you about coincidence and ‘those children would have had a reaction to anything’ is a load of beeswax! Nothing, I repeat NOTHING that has had limited trials and has not been thoroughly tested over a sufficient timeframe (I’m talking many years here) should be driven out in a fear campaign and issued to pregnant women, newborns, infants and children touted as the ‘high risk’ categories for contracting H1N1. It was ridiculous, disgusting and unforgivable. I hear you say, tell me what you really feel Janet! I understand being cautious about vaccinations, I am myself. So do the research and then make a wise decision on each and every shot. A choice. Don’t push ALL vaccinations away because of the devastating results of a drug that was foolishly rushed out on Governments’/Big Business’ own agendas. The common vaccinations that have been around for many, many decades are tried and tested. All vaccinations have their varying degrees of potential reactions most commonly mild fever, tiredness, or nausea but very rarely it can be more than that. There is raging debate between parents and scientists whether MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) causes Autism. It seems that genetically some children are more susceptible to severe adverse reaction to something within that shot. The reason for this is unclear but it is reported as a very small ratio (which is of little consolation to parents of children affected).

Research, talk to your doctor, talk to other mothers and make your own decision weighing up all the pro’s and con’s of each and every separate vaccine. The distraught mothers of babies who have died of Whooping Cough (Pertussis) are begging the Government to shine a spotlight on the issue, and for parents and the general public to vaccinate themselves to eradicate this deadly and highly contagious Pertussis virus. It has slowly crept back into our society and is killing our most vulnerable. Be informed. Make your Choice.

For more information visit:

Better Health

Health NSW