The whooping cough vaccine for all pregnant women
Several autonomous communities, including Andalusia and Madrid, will include as of January 2016 the pertussis vaccine for all pregnant women in the official vaccination calendar. Currently, only seven Autonomous Communities, including Catalonia, Asturias, the Basque Country, Navarre, Valencia, Extremadura and the Canary Islands, administer this vaccine to pregnant women.
The whooping cough vaccine, effective protection for newborns
The vaccine is the most effective protection measure against whooping cough for newborn babies, who are not given the vaccine until two months of age. During this time, whooping cough can become a serious illness for these newborn babies, causing even death, as happened recently in the month of September to a baby of fifteen days, at the Virgen del Rocío hospital in Seville.
According to experts, whooping cough vaccine is safe during pregnancy and is effective for the baby from birth to administration of the first dose after two months.
To begin administering it to pregnant women, readjustments should be made in the childhood immunization schedule, because currently the National Health Service lacks sufficient vaccines to cover the immunization of all pregnant women.
For this reason, children of 6 years will stop receiving their last dose. So that for children and babies, the doses of the whooping cough vaccines are maintained at two, four, six and eighteen months, but the recall at six years is temporarily suspended, so it will be necessary to readjust the infant immunization schedule.
The cases of pertussis in newborns are much more serious potentially than in children of 6 or 7 years, who already have four doses of this vaccine.
The pertussis vaccine for pregnant women, when and how
As of January 2016, all pregnant women can receive the whooping cough vaccine in the third trimester of pregnancy, specifically, between week 28 and week 36 of pregnancy. Immunization in pregnant women has forced to make a readjustment in the calendar of childhood vaccination in the face of the worldwide shortage of whooping cough vaccine. Some laboratories such as GSK and Sanofi have indicated that in one or two years they will be able to reestablish the supply of this vaccine.
Currently, whooping cough affects 7,17 cases in Spain per 100,000 inhabitants. It is a very contagious bacterial disease, which presents symptoms similar to those of a cold with persistent cough, and is transmitted when coughing or sneezing.
The Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP) is in favor of vaccination against whooping cough for all pregnant women and has claimed that, in the face of the shortage problems that this vaccine presents, the vaccination of 6-year-old children is delayed to allocate these doses to the future mothers.
Marisol Nuevo Espín
Pregnancy calendar week to week
Click on each petal or circle to see the content of your week or trimester of pregnancy respectively.