Friday, December 4, 2009

Safety of the H1N1 vaccine for Pregnant Mother and Fetus

Oooh more controversy!

Just received an e-mail this morning with an article called Swine Flu Alert -- Shocking Vaccine Miscarriage Horror Stories.

Its true that "the package inserts for the swine flu vaccines actually say that the safety of these vaccines for pregnant women has not been established," however, pregnant women are nearly at the top of the priority list for receiving the H1N1 vaccine.  The CDC recommends that "During seasonal influenza epidemics, during previous pandemics, and with the current influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, pregnancy places otherwise healthy women at increased risk for serious complications from influenza, including death."

The above-linked article states that miscarriages by pregnant women who received the vaccine are being reported from all over the nation. Another article states, "Some might argue that miscarriages happen in 15% of pregnancies, but do they happen within hours to days after taking a vaccine?"

So, the question is, are these miscarriages really connected to the H1N1 vaccine or are they simply coincidences based on odds?

The current issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has an article regarding the safety of influenza vaccines on pregnant women and their fetuses. The article notes that several studies done on past flu vaccines have shown that "maternal influenza immunization did not increase the number of stillbirths, congenital malformations, malignancies, or neurocognitive disabilities."
The authors conclude "Inactivated influenza vaccine can be safely and effectively administered during any trimester of pregnancy."

I'm interested in their making a solid determination about the safety of the H1N1 vaccine for pregnant women, because I've heard differing opinions from knowledgeable birth workers on the topic.

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to let you know I appreciate you showing both sides of these controversies and not being biased!!


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