Andalucian health delegate Aquilino Alonso has announced that as of January 1, 2016, whooping cough vaccinations will be given to pregnant women in the region.
He was dealing with a question on the subject by Esperañza Oña, a member of the regional parliament who had condemned the Junta de Andalucia regional government for having ‘decided’ not to vaccinate pregnant women. She said that the recent death of a baby in Malaga could have been prevented if the vaccinations had been in place.
Alonso accused Oña of exploiting a health matter for political reasons, something, he said, the Junta would never do, and his department had ‘always respected’ the decisions adopted at the Inter-regional Health Council and supported the central government on this matter.
He said that there was an agreement for each region to evaluate its own needs and some regions do not vaccinate all pregnant women as ‘there is a shortage of vaccines on the market and they have to be given to those who really need them.’
Alonso explained that 26 per cent of children who had been vaccinated caught whooping cough anyway and insisted that the criteria followed until now was up to standard. He said that following an evaluation, it has now been agreed to include the vaccination in those given to pregnant women from January 1, 2016.
The delegate made the announcement after Oña asked: “What more has to happen apart from the death of a baby girl to get vaccinations for women?” while maintaining that there have been many more cases since 2010, which especially affect young babies.
“Andalucia decided not to vaccinate pregnant women; if her mother had been vaccinated this baby wouldn’t have died,” Oña said, emphasising that seven Spanish regions have already decided to give the vaccinations.