Mother and Child Outcomes from the Whooping Cough Vaccination Programme

The UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS.org) are using ResearchOne data to study the impact of the whooping cough (pertussis) pregnancy vaccination programme on the health of mothers and children in the first few months after birth.

Pertussis is a serious infection and the NHS advise vaccination against pertussis betweeen 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy in order to protect babies until they are vaccinated.  The vaccination of babies commences at two months of age.  Clinical trials rarely include pregnant women, but ResearchOne offers the possibility for data from health records to be used to study the effects of vaccination on maternal and foetal health.

The UKTIS is a national service that provides NHS healthcare professionals and regulatory agencies with evidence based, up-to-date information about the effects of chemicals and medicines on foetal growth and development.  UKTIS also conduct research and surveillance for signals that a medicine may be harmful to a foetus (teratogenic).  Dr Laura Yates, Head of Teratology, stated that “ResearchOne offers the potential to analyse large-scale data on a greater number of foetal exposures, almost in real-time.”

This project involves the analysis of non-identiable information from GP and community care records to compare outcomes between vaccinated and non-vaccinated mothers and their infants.  This will provide evidence for the impact of vaccination on rates of pertussis infection among babies and pregnancy complications and on birth weight.

This project is expected to contribute significantly to our understanding of the benefits and safety of the ongoing UK pertussis vaccination programme.  The results will be reported to the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA),  Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).