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Attitudes towards vaccination against group B streptococcus in pregnancy
  1. Fiona McQuaid1,
  2. Christine Jones2,
  3. Zoe Stevens1,
  4. Jane Plumb3,
  5. Rhona Hughes4,
  6. Helen Bedford5,
  7. Paul T Heath2,
  8. Matthew D Snape1
  1. 1Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group, Division of Clinical Sciences, St Georges, University of London, London, UK
  3. 3Group B Strep Support, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK
  4. 4Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK
  5. 5Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fiona McQuaid, Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford OX37LE, UK; Fiona.mcquaid{at}paediatrics.ox.ac.uk

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Group B streptococcus (GBS) is the commonest cause of sepsis and meningitis in the neonatal period in the UK with case numbers similar to that of meningococcal disease in older children.1 Mortality is around 10%, and 50% of GBS meningitis survivors are left with long-term neurodevelopmental sequelae.1

The selective use of intravenous antibiotics during labour has been shown to reduce the incidence of early-onset GBS infection in neonates, but has no effect on late-onset disease.2 Therefore, a better method of protecting infants is required.

An alternative could be antenatal vaccination against GBS and a potential vaccine candidate is currently being trialled in pregnant women.3 However, uptake of other antenatal vaccines is variable and some women may have concerns about potential adverse effects on their developing baby. Nevertheless, the recent UK pertussis …

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