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Vaccinations affect everyone: Mum

Saturday, 11th April, 2015

Chelise Jones is expecting her first baby at the end of May and is encouraging all her loved ones to get vaccinated against whooping cough. PICTURE: Emily Roberts Chelise Jones is expecting her first baby at the end of May and is encouraging all her loved ones to get vaccinated against whooping cough. PICTURE: Emily Roberts

By Emily Roberts

Mothers and mothers-to-be are more conscious about the need to have family members and friends vaccinated to protect newborns.

Local mums have started a local campaign to ask their loved ones to ensure they are up-to-date on all vaccinations before visiting their new baby.

Pertussis disease notifications in NSW have been increasing since mid-2014.

It is a serious respiratory infection that causes a long coughing illness. In babies, the infection can sometimes lead to pneumonia and occasionally brain damage, and can be life threatening.

Chelise Jones is expecting her first child on May 31, and something she is particularly worried about is pertussis or whooping cough.

“Whooping cough is life threatening especially for babies, however, it’s something we can all be immunised against to help protect them as they are most vulnerable,” she said.

“Everyone was happy to be vaccinated; some friends had already organised to be vaccinated before we had even mentioned it.

“Everyone is aware that being vaccinated is the best way to protect our baby and all have been happy to look into it.”

Chelise said there was also a long-term benefit of protecting the community.

“We will be protected from potentially life-threatening conditions that you can be vaccinated for and in turn help protect others.

Chelise and her husband Gareth will be vaccinated next week. The young mum is in her third trimester, so the baby will also benefit from the vaccination.

Another local mum, Coralie Curran also asked family and friends to seek extra protection.

They have a young son, Harper and six-week newborn, Estelle.

“On Wednesday Estelle got her six-week shots,” Coralie said. 

“I think all families spending time with a newborn should be vaccinated, as whooping cough is dangerous for small babies.

“Harper has had all his vaccinations and will be getting the flu vaccination this year as Estelle has some medical issues and we would prefer her not to get sick.

“As I’m sure, anyone with a small baby would want the same.”

Dr Therese Jones from the Far West and Western NSW Local Health District advised pregnant women to ensure they were vaccinated in their third trimester.

“Ideally, 28 to 32 weeks is the best time, as it offers the best protection for babies until their first vaccination at six to eight weeks of age,” Dr Jones said.

“Whooping cough vaccination during pregnancy has been studied in more than 37,000 women in the United States and the United Kingdom and is shown to be very safe.

“It is vital that parents also ensure all their children are up to date with their vaccinations to minimise the risk of whooping cough circulating in the family.

“Adults in close contact with young babies should also discuss the benefits of the vaccine with their GP, which is available on prescription. 

“Whooping cough is easily spread to new babies, so it’s important to keep people with coughs away from them, in case they have whooping cough or other nasty infections.”

NSW Health provides free vaccinations for pertussis to pregnant women during their third trimester.

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