New App Developed To Regularly Alert Pregnant Women About Vaccinations

A new app called Maternal Immunisations or MatImms has been launched in an attempt to save pregnant women and their babies from harmful infections. The guidance app will advise and remind women about vaccinations needed during pregnancy.

The Sunday Express reported that the app, which can be incorporated to iPhone and Android calendars, was developed to help and persuade expectant mothers to protect themselves and their soon-to-be newborns from life-threatening infections like flu and whooping cough. These infections could be easily prevented if pregnant women would get recommended vaccinations.

MatImms works by creating a customized vaccination timetable based on the mother's due date. Mothers who will be using the app could expect regular alerts when the appropriate time for the vaccines comes. Alerts about immunizations after birth could also be expected until the baby turns one year old.

Developed by the clinicians from the Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, MatImms is a response to the alarmingly low turnout of pregnant women who received vital vaccines. Between 2013 and 2014, only 26 percent of pregnant women were vaccinated for whooping cough and 38.5 percent for flu due to lack of communication.

"Our research shows that a lack of effective communication is the main reason why women do not take up the recommended vaccinations during pregnancy," explained Beate Kampmann, a professor of pediatric infection, immunity and international child health at Imperial College London who led the development of MatImms. "Our app aims to address the communication gap by providing a one-stop shop for women to get all the information they need on the vaccines available to them during their pregnancy."

According to the National Health Service, getting vaccinated against whooping cough is vital for pregnant women because it protects the baby from developing the infection in the first few weeks after birth. This vaccine may be given between 28-38 weeks of pregnancy.

Moreover, flu vaccine is equally important because pregnant women have higher chances of developing flu, which may result in serious conditions, premature delivery, low birthweight, and even stillbirth or death of the baby. This vaccine could be provided during any stage of pregnancy.

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