September 10, 2015
Whooping cough threat drives immunisation effort
A health researcher and Starship paediatrician is warning a whooping cough epidemic is on the way, and whanau need to get on top of immunisation.
Dr Cameron Grant, an associate director with the Growing Up in New Zealand study, says it’s a concern that many whanau are being affected by negative messages about immunisation and delaying getting the jabs for mother and pepi.
He says the next whooping cough epidemic is expected as early as the end of next year.
" One of the things we want to do before then is make sure that all pregnant women get a dose of the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy because that's recently been shown to be a very effective way of protecting the mum so that she can't get it and then give it to her little baby. But also she can make antibodies and they can cross the placenta and those can help protect the baby in the first few weeks of life when they are too young to be immunise and are most vulnerable" he says.
Dr Grant says health agencies may need to rethink their messaging strategy around whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, polio and other infectious diseases because many vulnerable whanau don’t seem aware of the danger.
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