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Anna Barwick

Anna Barwick

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Why are vaccination rates for whooping cough and the flu so low in pregnant women?

As reported in Australian Pharmacist today from the wonderful Chloe Hava:

From 2012–2017, only about 12% of pregnant Australian women received both the influenza and diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (dTpa) vaccines across Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. These areas collectively represent about a third of all Australian births.

Uptake could be low in this ‘highly anxious group’, as pregnant women are often unwilling to put their unborn child at risk, said Anna Barwick MPS, who provides advice for mothers through her online Gestational Diabetes Thrive service.

PharmOnline has a role in educating women about what vaccines to receive and when, along with the benefits to their unborn child,  by informing women that:

  • the dTpa (whooping cough) vaccine is usually given at 28 weeks pregnancy, however it can be given anytime between 20-32 weeks
  • when a dTpa vaccine is administered at least 7 days before birth, 9 out of 10 infants aged <3 months receive protection against hospitalised pertussis
  • an influenza (flu) vaccine administered during pregnancy protects children against the virus in the first 6 months of life. Pharmacists can administer the vaccine and should offer this early in pregnancy
  • both vaccinations are covered under the NIP.

For our mums and mums-to-be, please protect yourself and your children. Get vaccinated today!

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