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CDC Says Pregnant Women Should Get Swine Flu Vaccine

By brettsinger |

CDC Swine Flu Test KitSwine flu, aka the H1N1 virus, has not gone away. In fact, advisers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending that pregnant women get vaccinated against it, according to a report from NPR.

Unsurprisingly, the report points out that “recommendations that pregnant women be vaccinated will be a hard sell to pregnant women — and their doctors.”

Not all doctors are against this vaccination, however. The NPR story quotes Dr. Iffath Hoskins, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, as saying “We’ve seen [pregnant women] get very sick, very quickly,” even if they were completely healthy before the virus hit.

I wonder if this is going to spur an MMR vaccine style backlash, or if pregnant women will simply take the shot if instructed to do so. NPR spoke to Dr. John Treanor, a vaccine expert at the University of Rochester, who said that “I think there is accumulated evidence that the vaccine is safe in pregnancy.” But so many people, right or wrong, take an “us against them” attitude when it comes to vaccines. If I had to guess, I would say yeah, there might be a few arguments about this one.

Source: NPR

Image: CDC.gov

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0 thoughts on “CDC Says Pregnant Women Should Get Swine Flu Vaccine

  1. Lisa says:

    There have been many deaths due to pregnant women getting H1N1. Get the shot.

  2. Lorraine says:

    Is the reason for the hard sell due to the fact that the vaccine has been pushed out so quickly? When I was pregnant, I was always encouraged by my doctors to get a seasonal flu shot. I’m not sure why H1N1 would be any different …

  3. Lorraine says:

    And Lisa, there have not been “many deaths” due to pregnant women getting H1N1. Those few pregnant women who have died have almost all had underlying medical conditions. I’m not saying flat out that pregnant women shouldn’t get the shot — that’s for each woman to decide — but your comment is flat out incorrect.

  4. Cali Mom says:

    Lorraine, I was wondered why they thought this would be a hard sell. From what I understood, this shot is going through the same regulatory process as the seasonal flu shot, which has to get reformulated and retested every year. Does anyone have any more info on this?

    Brett, why would you say there would be an MMR-style backlash. The backlash to MMR was due to the fraudulent information from Dr. Wakefield. I haven’t seen anything like this come out for this shot. Did I misunderstand what you were saying?

  5. Brett Singer says:

    @Cali Mom, I was only wondering if there would be a backlash, based partly on this article, and partly on the intensity of the MMR debate. I think for some people, and this is a generalization, taking anything during pregnancy is frowned upon. Combine that with the way that some folks feel about vaccines, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see resistance. I can’t remember if my wife got the “regular” flu shot when she was pregnant. Is that something that pregnant women regularly do now, as far as you know?

  6. Cali Mom says:

    Thanks for the clarification. Yes, it is recommended that pregnant women get the seasonal flu shot, since it is particularly hazardous for pregnant women to get the flu, for both them and their babies.

  7. beep says:

    I am pregnant and just getting over a 2-week-long case of swine flu. I felt absolutely terrible, and actually still feel under the weather. My doctors and I decided against a course of Tamiflu, which has not been well tested on pregnant women, in case it might harm the baby. But because I was sick, my baby was exposed to radiation from chest X-rays (too see whether my productive cough meant life-threatening pneumonia) as well as high fevers not fully controllable by Tylenol. I also lost weight when I should have been gaining. And I had a fairly light case for a pregnant woman–I never actually needed hospitalization. I wish there had been a vaccine before I got exposed, for my sake and the baby’s.

  8. Scientist says:

    As far as the “many deaths” comment goes, my understanding is that the overall number of pregnant women deaths is small, but among swine flu deaths the percentage of pregnant women is disproportionately higher than in the normal population. No firm conclusions can be drawn but this gives preliminary indication that the flu may be more dangerous for pregnant women.

  9. jeannesager says:

    Regarding the backlash – I saw on the news tonight that this vax contains thimerosal. Which, despite all the studies that say otherwise, is still cursed with people assuming it is connected to autism.

    The idea of a rushed out vax does make me – a pro-vax person – a little wary. I know some people are pointing to the shortcuts taken back in the 70s when a swine flu vaccine was also rushed out and caused some serious problems. NOT that this one will, but again, might be a reason behind the backlash.

  10. Jillian says:

    I’m pregnant, and on the fence about whether I’d accept this vaccine. Not that my doctor has offered or even raised the issue of H1N1. I get the regular flu vaccine every year, and would in pregnancy as well. Jeanne hit it on the head. My reluctance here is all about the vaccine being rushed out the door and how that went for everyone last time.

    I am scheduled to travel for work later next month (to NYC) and, while I think it would be fine, I am feeling a little concerned and might even cancel. I know that’s an over-reaction, but the possible cost if the unlikely happens is so high…

  11. Eric says:

    I’m not in favor of, nor against any pregnant woman receiving the vaccine. However, several people here have said that they are conscerned about the H1N1 vaccine being ‘rushed out the door’. It is on the nearly the same development cycle as the standard flu vaccine. Any influenza vaccine is developed and administered in a short period of time. This is not like MMR, Polio, or Small Pox vaccines that have a very long development and testing cycle. Food for thought.

  12. Courtney says:

    rushed out the door is my point exactly although full shots are tested every yr… its been around long enough for them to know the side effects it has on pregnant women… where as this vaccine will only have been tested a few mths… Im still torn… and waiting to see if any good news pops up… Im not against the reg flu shot I will get it when its offered… but the swine worries me…

  13. Courtney says:

    preggos spelling… I meant Flu*

  14. ruthybsu says:

    I am currently 7 months preg. I have a huge family history of autoimmune disorders. I have read several studies that indicate that a component of the vaccine has a tendency to increase autoimmune disorders for those who are predisposed to them. I am a ER RN. I know that I have been exposed to this virus with the several confirmed cases in my ER already. With all that being said, I have to say that I am not sure what I am going to do. I have taken a poll at work from the docs and they say that they would not have their wives get it. I do not believe that there has been enough testing for me to potentially expose myself to something that could jump start my and my daughters genetic predisposition to autoimmune disorders.

  15. Nelly perez says:

    I have asked my doctor about testing me for the swine flu several times but she says if i get it then i get it. Is this true that theres nothing that can really be done about this? I mean im really worried about my unborn child will he be okay, will i have a still born, or will i die with him still inside the womb??? I have been really sick lately and this sickness has made me loose about 6 pounds now, I just want answers!!!

  16. CJ says:

    Dear ruthybsu:

    Could you tell me where you read that woman with autoimmune disorders are at higher risk to getting the h1 vaccine?

    I am currently 10 weeks pregnant and terrified to get the vaccine. The reason why is last year I was 4 months pregnant and got the annual flu vaccine and had a bad reaction to it. Within a month we lost our son at 21.5 weeks due to GBS. So as you can imagine I am not rushing to the doctors to get the vaccine. If I don’t get it I could die of complications due to the lungs shutting down with the swine flu or seasonal flu. Please advise.

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