Photo: Taranaki DHB antenatal clinic coordinator, Karen Janes immunises pregnant Aleisha Tancred whose expecting her third child this winter.
Pregnancy immunisation important to Taranaki parents
2 May 2019
Mum of two, Aleisha Tancred, knows the importance of getting immunised during pregnancy. That’s why she’s accessing Taranaki DHB’s free vaccination drop-in clinic at Base Hospital’s maternity unit during her third pregnancy.
“It’s really important to me that I protect not just myself and my family, but my unborn baby,” says Aleisha who is in her final trimester of pregnancy with baby number three.
Aleisha’s pregnancy immunisation is timely as the nation celebrates Immunisation Week from 29 April – 5 May 2019. This year’s theme is ‘Protected Together, #Immunise’ and highlights the need for high immunisation rates to help protect our tamariki, whānau, iwi and community from serious diseases.
Aleisha is one of many women who has utilised the free immunisation drop-in clinic at Base Hospital, which is open every Wednesday from 2-3pm offering free vaccinations against whooping cough and influenza.
She says “I know the vaccination is safe for me during pregnancy, it’s free and I’m helping to protect my baby from serious disease.”
The 23 year old Mum of New Plymouth has also been immunised with her previous pregnancies, which helped start the childhood immunisation journey for her now four and one year old children.
Taranaki DHB’s antenatal clinic coordinator, Karen Janes says “We are getting anywhere between 1-8 pregnant women coming to the drop-in clinic on a weekly basis which is great. Immunisation for whooping cough can be given at 28 weeks gestation and immunisation against influenza can be given at any time throughout pregnancy.
“Immunisation works by helping your child develop antibodies to fight disease. Effective immunisation starts in pregnancy and follows the National Immunisation Schedule of recommended vaccinations at six weeks, then three, five and fifteen months old, four years and pre-teen at 11 and 12 years old. These are the times your child will get the best possible protection,” says Karen.
Following childhood immunisation, protection is also encouraged into adulthood with influenza immunisation available at GPs and some pharmacies, and free immunisations for people aged 65 and over including influenza, shingles, tetanus and diphtheria.
To find out more about Immunisation Week please go to www.immune.org.nz
Last updated: Thursday, May 2, 2019