Half of pregnant Hartlepool women missed vital lifesaving jab

The Health and Wellbeing Board was given an update on immunisation in Hartlepool.
The Health and Wellbeing Board was given an update on immunisation in Hartlepool.

Almost half of pregnant women missed out on a vital immunisation to protect against a killer condition.

Statistics showed only 60% of pregnant women in Hartlepool received the whooping cough vaccination during weeks 22 to 33 of pregnancy - meaning 40% missed out.

The Hartlepool Health and Wellbeing Board was told NHS England is now looking to tackle the issue by working more effectively with the maternity service.

In January to August this year a leaflet with vital immunisation information was given out to the public in an effort to engage with children and parents.

Now the service is training family resource workers to give information to families and working with GP practices to ensure data collection is in place as a way of identifying who is missing from vaccinations.

Julia Waller, the immunisation and screening manager for the local NHS, highlighted how adult immunisation was equally important to reduce deaths and compilations particularly during pregnancy.

She said: “Immunisation is part of our approach to protect the population and reduce the rise of illnesses. Adult immunisation is important to reduce death and ongoing complications. I think a lot of people have forgotten that you do get side effects with vaccinations, but they don’t cause the disease. We are trying to get this message across.”

The Board heard how 94.2% of the towns population were immunised in the last year (2015-2014) an improvement of 1.3% from the previous year. The NHS said they were also working with children’s centres and nurseries to make them aware of vaccinatons.