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Letters
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. 1 Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group, Division of Clinical Sciences, St Georges, University of London, London, UK
  3. 3 Group B Strep Support, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK
  4. 4 Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, UK
  5. 5 Centre 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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Footnotes

  • Contributors FM and MDS prepared the first draft of the text of this article and revised it in response to comments from all coauthors. FM prepared the table and figure. The online survey was designed by all authors.

  • Funding This survey was funded by a grant from Meningitis Now (formerly Meningitis UK).

  • Competing interests PTH serves as a consultant to Novartis Vaccines regarding GBS vaccine development. He receives no personal funding for this. The remaining authors have no potential conflicts of interest to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Additional unpublished data are available to members of the public from the ComRes website: http://www.comres.co.uk/poll/1028/gbs-vaccination-survey.htm.

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