Women’s & Newborn Health provide an immunisation clinic that offers Whooping cough vaccination to pregnant women from 28 weeks of pregnancy and the Flu vaccination in the autumn/winter months.
Women having a baby at Westmead Hospital, can book into the immunisation clinic in the Women’s Health Clinic (WHC) on level 2 of G-Block anytime Monday – Friday from 8am to 4pm.
You might like to make an appointment on a day you have your scheduled antenatal visit. See the staff at the WHC reception counter to book an appointment in the immunisation clinic.
What is Whooping Cough?
Whooping cough is a coughing illness that can be life threatening to babies and can make pregnant women very unwell. The medical term for whooping cough is Pertussis. Whooping cough causes extreme coughing that makes it very hard for a baby / person to breathe.
Whooping cough is a respiratory infection usually spread by an infected person coughing near others.
NSW Health recommends vaccination at every pregnancy from 28 weeks gestation. This vaccination can help protect you and your newborn baby from Whooping cough.
NSW Health also recommends that any adult that cares regularly for a new baby sees their GP to discuss whooping cough vaccination. All household members should be up-to-date with whooping cough vaccination to help protect the new baby and themselves from whooping cough.
You can read more about Whooping Cough here.
Your baby will begin their own whooping cough vaccinations at 6 weeks of age.
Influenza in Pregnancy
Influenza, or flu is an infectious disease caused by a virus. The influenza virus is mainly spread from person to person through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through touching. Pregnant women in their second and third trimester are at greater risk of very severe illness from flu.
You can read more about Influenza in Pregnancy here.
What happens at the appointment?
The midwife will ask you some questions to ensure that it is safe for you to be given DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Triple Antigen) vaccination. This is the only currently available form of vaccination against whooping cough in Australia. Influenza vaccine can be safely given to women planning to have a baby or at any stage during pregnancy.
This vaccination is given as a needle injection into the outer muscle of your upper arm. You will be asked to remain in the WHC for 15 minutes after the vaccination to ensure that you are feeling well to go home. We do not expect you to become unwell after this vaccination. You may experience a small local reaction in your arm after your vaccination and the midwife will discuss what to expect with you before the injection.
After your vaccination
You will be given an Adult / Adolescent Vaccination Record Card with your recorded vaccination. Please keep this card for your health information record. This also provides information for other health professionals should you have any concerns after your vaccination.
You can contact the WHC on 02 8890-6508 or speak with your GP for any concerns with your whooping cough vaccination.
If you experience any unexpected reactions to the vaccination please advise the Immunisation Clinic as soon as possible.