Pregnant women and H1N1 vaccines

September 29, 2009 4:07:52 PM PDT
The government says shipments of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine are ahead of schedule. The first round will be made available to health care workers, children, hose with underlying health conditions and also pregnant women.Pregnant women are a group singled out as particularly at risk from the H1N1 swine flu. This summer, a report found that they had a strikingly higher rate of hospitalizations, complications and death. Worse, those who died were relatively healthy.

But still, many woman grapple with the decision of whether or not to get the vaccine, even though the Centers for Disease Control has said vaccinating pregnant woman should be a priority.

But neither the seasonal flu shot nor the H1N1 shot pose major risks to mother or baby. Obstetrician Jennifer Wu says women should balance the benefits with these small risks.

"One of the advantages of vaccine during pregnancy is that we get a two for one bonus. We vaccinate the mother and the antibodies pass to the fetus to protect fetus and the baby," said Dr. Wu with Lenox Hill Hospital.

And breastfeeding for the baby is not affected at all by a flu shot for mom. The vaccine preservative Thimerosol has been associated in some peoples minds with autism, so the manufacturers have produced a version of the vaccines without Thimerosol.

Seasonal and H1N1 shots come that way, and there's been no science to support the Thimerosol-autism connection.

      HEALTH NEWS| SWINE FLU NEWS | HEALTH NEWSLETTER
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