Im­mu­ni­sa­tions to keep baby safe

Little Treasures - - CONTENTS -

Which vac­cines did you have as a child? That’s a tricky ques­tion with­out check­ing your Plun­ket book (if you know where it is). It is im­por­tant be­cause changes to the Im­mu­ni­sa­tion Sched­ule in the 1990s and other fac­tors mean many teenagers and adults did not re­ceive two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vac­cine. Due to this gap, we’ve re­cently seen hun­dreds of mumps cases and measles out­breaks have con­tin­ued in re­cent years. Eight out of ten cases of mumps are peo­ple not fully im­mu­nised. And whilst rubella is also rare, it is a very risky dis­ease to get dur­ing preg­nancy. Other peo­ple, who did re­ceive two doses of MMR, may not have re­sponded as well to the vac­cine to give them long last­ing pro­tec­tion, pos­si­bly due to med­i­cal con­di­tions. You can ask your doc­tor or prac­tice nurse to check your med­i­cal records to see which vac­ci­na­tions were recorded. Hav­ing MMR be­fore you’re preg­nant helps pro­tect your de­vel­op­ing baby against rubella. But other vac­cines are given dur­ing preg­nancy. Th­ese trig­ger your im­mune sys­tem to nat­u­rally pro­duce spe­cial pro­tec­tive an­ti­bod­ies that you pass to your baby through the pla­centa. This gives baby tem­po­rary pro­tec­tion un­til they are fully im­mu­nised at around 6 months of age.

Whoop­ing cough booster New Zealand is hav­ing an­other whoop­ing cough epi­demic. This se­ri­ous dis­ease can be deadly for young ba­bies, the in­fec­tion has nasty com­pli­ca­tions and can cause them to stop breath­ing. 5 out of 10 ba­bies un­der the age of 12 months...

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