Microscope

MATIMMS

IMPACT OF MATERNAL VACCINATION ON IMMUNITY TO WHOOPING COUGH

"Antibody responses to Bordetella pertussis and other childhood vaccines in infants born to mothers who received pertussis vaccine in pregnancy- a prospective, observational cohort study from the UK"

Published in Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 2019

Mother and a Child

SUMMARY

In this study, we recruited mothers who were unvaccinated, or who received vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis) during pregnancy. We collected blood samples from these mothers and from their infants to measure their levels of antibody.

Our main findings were:

  1. Mothers who were unvaccinated had low levels of antibody against the whooping cough bacteria- usually below levels that would protect against disease. These women are therefore vulnerable to catch whooping cough

  2. Mothers who were vaccinated had a good immune response to the vaccine, and had much higher levels of antibody against the whooping cough bacteria- protecting them from disease.

  3. All mothers transferred antibody to their babies

  4. If women were vaccinated in pregnancy, their babies had significantly higher levels of protective antibody at birth and at 7 weeks - when babies are the most vulnerable to whooping cough, and are most likely to be hospitalised as a result.

  5. Babies also had higher levels of antibodies against other diseases covered by the vaccine- such as diphtheria and tetanus

  6. After babies had their own vaccines against whooping cough, there was no difference in the amount of antibody they had depending on whether their mother was vaccinated in pregnancy, or not.

IMPACT OF MATERNAL VACCINATION ON IMMUNITY TO FLU

"The impact of timing of maternal influenza immunization on infant antibody levels at birth" 

Published in Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 2019

Children in Playground

SUMMARY

Here, we recruited mothers who were unvaccinated, or who received vaccination against influenza during pregnancy. We collected blood samples from these mothers and from their infants to measure their levels of antibody.

Our main findings were:

  1. Infants born to unvaccinated mothers and those immunised more than 24 or less than 4 weeks before birth had a lower level of antibody.

  2. The level of antibody against influenza was much higher for infants born to mothers immunised in either the second or third trimesters.

  3. The maternal response to vaccination was also greatest when mothers were immunised during the second and third trimesters.

  4. All mothers transferred protective antibodies to their infant, occurring at a higher rate later in pregnancy. Overall, this results in a larger amount of antibody in infants relative to their mothers.

  5. The seasonal influenza vaccination should continue to be given in pregnancy as soon as it becomes available.

AWARENESS AND UPTAKE OF MATERNAL VACCINATION IN 2013-2014

"What determines uptake of pertussis vaccination in pregnancy? A cross sectional survey in an ethnically diverse population of pregnant women in London"

Published in Vaccine, 2015

Moms and Babies

SUMMARY

A questionnaire was completed by 200 participants to assess uptake of antenatal pertussis and influenza vaccine in a leading NHS Trust in London and to explore awareness, attitudes towards and acceptance of the current pertussis vaccination programme.

Our main findings were:

  1. Awareness of the program was 63% (126/200) with actual uptake of the vaccine only 26.0% (52/200) - vaccine uptake in this cohort of pregnant women was poor.

  2. Women had received information from multiple sources, primarily General Practitioners (GP) and midwives.

  3. 34.0% (68/200) of women were offered the vaccine at their GP practice, but only 24% reported a meaningful discussion with their GP about it.

  4. Uptake may have been higher if vaccination was recommended by a familiar healthcare professional. Feeling uninformed, lack of professional encouragement and uncertainties of risk and benefit of the vaccine were the greatest barriers to uptake.

  5. Understanding the target audience and engaging with key groups who influence women’s decision-making is essential.