Expectant mum wants vaccine but denied on four occasions

NO VACCINES: Louisa Bradley is 35 weeks’ pregnant and has been informed on four separate occasions that a whooping cough vaccination is currently unavailable as stocks are depleted.
NO VACCINES: Louisa Bradley is 35 weeks’ pregnant and has been informed on four separate occasions that a whooping cough vaccination is currently unavailable as stocks are depleted.

FOUR days after the chief health officer assured the state there was no shortage of the whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women, expectant mum Louisa Bradley has been denied it on four separate occasions - three times from the public sector.

Twice during the past week, the mum-to-be has been told by staff at Gladstone Hospital their stocks are empty.

And after travelling to Rockhampton Hospital on April 1, Ms Bradley was informed there were no vaccines available there.

"No one has been able to direct us where we can go to get it," she said.

"It's a major concern no one can shed light on this situation, especially after the passing of baby Ryan in WA from whopping cough," she said.

Ms Bradley's mother, who lives in Cairns, is trying to be immunised before the birth of her grandchild, and she claims she was also told there were no vaccines available to her.

Chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young fronted a press conference in Brisbane at the weekend, stating supplies of the pertussis vaccination were in abundance.

"Our immunisation programs for children and pregnant women are not experiencing shortfalls," she said.

Dr Nicki Murdock, the executive director of Gladstone Hospital, would not confirm or deny if the facility had any supplies of the vaccine, instead taking seven hours to provide the following statement: "Gladstone Hospital has been waiting on an order of the pertussis vaccination to arrive and will have it available from this Monday."

Ms Bradley said she would not hesitate to fork out the money as a private patient but felt the service offered by the government had been inadequate.

In her third trimester, now at 35 weeks, Ms Bradley does not have time on her side.

"It really concerns me as bub cannot be subject to close contact with anyone for six weeks until my baby has its shots.

"Chances are I will be induced before 40 weeks, which means I've only probably got two weeks until the window closes," she said.

"I've been urged for the past five weeks now to get this vaccine, yet no one can provide answers about when it will be available. "

Several medical practices across the region are also experiencing temporary shortfalls in stocks, however private patients don't appear to be having any difficulty in accessing the vaccination.

Topics:  editors picks pregnant rockhampton hospital vaccine whooping cough

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