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  4. Hi. I am a first time mum in 5 weeks. The GP has recommended that family in contact with bub should be immunised against whooping cough. My husband and I both work in the health industry so our vaccinations are up to date however my husbands family think
Avatar Johns...
Hi. I am a first time mum in 5 weeks. The GP has recommended that family in contact with bub should be immunised against whooping cough. My husband and I both work in the health industry so our vaccinations are up to date however my husbands family think

Jane ...
Answer: Hi, Your GP is wise and up to date with the best of research based evidence. Yes, all adults and children who are going to be in contact with your baby need to have their own whooping cough immunity up to date. Your baby may be at risk otherwise. Adults with whooping cough generally don't have too many complications but young babies who've not had a chance to become immune through vaccination (because they're too young) are very much at risk. This is what we know as "herd immunity" when the majority of others within a population protect the youngest and more vulnerable. This is to protect their grandchild and your baby, it's not about you being difficult or overly protective, it's just being very sensible. Here is what the "gold standard" of advice eg the Immunise Australia website has to say:(check the website and ask your family members to as well)http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/handbook10-4-12 Persons in contact with infants and others at increased risk from pertussis There is significant morbidity associated with pertussis infection in infants <6 months of age, particularly those <3 months of age,19 and the source of infection in infants is often a household contact11-14 (see also 4.12.3 Epidemiology above). Pertussis vaccination of the close contacts of young infants (the cocoon strategy) is likely to reduce the risk of pertussis occurring in the infant and is recommended for the following groups. Women who are planning pregnancy, pregnant or post-partum dTpa vaccine is recommended as a single dose, given either during pre-pregnancy planning, or as soon as possible after delivery of the infant (preferably before hospital discharge). Alternatively, dTpa can be given to women during the third trimester of pregnancy (see 4.12.3 Epidemiology above and 4.12.8 Pregnancy and breastfeeding below). If 5 years or more have elapsed between a previous dose and the expected date of delivery for a subsequent pregnancy, a booster dose of dTpa (either in the third trimester or early post-partum) is recommended. The rationale for this, particularly pertaining to maternal vaccination during the third trimester, is that the level of maternal pertussis antibodies is thought to be the most important factor in infant protection, and after 5 years maternal antibodies may have declined39,40 to a level such that direct and/or indirect protection to the infant is reduced. While it is possible that additional benefit could accrue from a booster dose at a shorter interval, or with each pregnancy, there is insufficient information to judge the likely risks and benefits of these alternatives. Other adult household contacts and carers of infants <6 months of age Adult household contacts and carers (e.g. fathers, grandparents) of infants <6 months of age should ideally receive a dTpa vaccine at least 2 weeks before beginning close contact with the infant. A booster dose of dTpa is recommended if 10 years have elapsed since a previous dose.39,40 Best Jane
Answered: 20 Jul 2014