Need for vaccination against infections
Human diseases and infections are mostly caused by either bacteria or viruses and most of the infections can be treated with antibiotics and antiviral drugs. However, few bacterial and viral infections can be fatal and deadly if left untreated. For bacterial infections like Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis; antibiotics cannot completely cure or prevent. So, vaccination is the only option to prevent these bacterial infections.
Diphtheria is a bacterial infection caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria. This infection causes sore throat, swollen glands in neck, and difficulty in breathing. In advanced stages of Diphtheria, it can damage the kidneys’ function and nervous system.
Tetanus is another serious and fatal bacterial infection called Lockjaw and caused by Clostridium tetani. This bacterium produces toxins that affect the nervous system and the brain. Tetanus causes painful muscle contractions in the jaw & neck, abdominal muscle stiffness, rapid heart rate, and painful body spasms that last for several minutes.
Pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory infection, is also known as Whooping cough. This infection causes uncontrollable and violent coughing which makes it difficult for an individual to breathe. Few symptoms of Pertussis are runny nose, sneezing, difficulty in breathing, congestion, fever, vomiting, and watery eyes.
Importance of 3-in-1 vaccination for newborns
If newborn babies who have Diphtheria or Tetanus or Pertussis are left untreated or are not vaccinated, they may suffer from severe respiratory problems, muscle spasms, heart damage, and even death. Infants are not adequately protected especially against Pertussis at birth. The vaccination especially against Pertussis begins only at 6-8 weeks putting them at risk of Pertussis disease and complications at birth or in the first few months of life.
The 3-in-1 vaccination during pregnancy helps to transfer the protective antibodies from the mother to the newborn baby against these diseases.
Important Guidelines for PREGNANT MOTHERS about 3-in-1 Vaccination
Pregnant mothers can get a blood test to measure the levels of antibodies present in their body to protect themselves and the child against Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis.
Getting vaccinated during the postpartum period [from day 1 to 6 weeks of childbirth] is neither recommended nor optimal.
Cocooning [vaccinating everyone who is around the child/baby] is difficult and hard to implement since it is costly.
A pregnant mother should get this 3-in-1 vaccination during the 3rd trimester [between 27 and 36 weeks] of pregnancy.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] recommends pregnant mothers to get a shot of the 3-in-1 vaccination during each pregnancy to protect each of the babies from getting the infection.
If there is a community outbreak of pertussis, 3-in-1 vaccination can be administered anytime during the pregnancy.
If the vaccine is administered during the early stages of pregnancy, it should not be repeated because only one dose is recommended during each pregnancy.
If the mother is vaccinated earlier than giving birth to a child, she can transfer the antibodies to the infant/baby through breastfeeding.
A minimum of 2 weeks is required for the vaccine to create antibodies in the body of a recipient.
If you are a pregnant mother and confused about whether to get this 3-in-1 vaccination or not, please consult your gynaecologist for more information.
Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your physician for medical queries, if any, or any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India. NP-IN-PTX-OGM-200030, DOP Sep 2020.