Pregnant Women in US Urged to Get Flu Shots

by VR Sreeraman on September 25, 2009 at 2:47 PM

 Pregnant Women in US Urged to Get Flu Shots
Top US health officials Thursday urged pregnant women to get the (A)H1N1 flu vaccine, even before trials are complete for their high risk-group, when the dosage starts becoming available next month.

They also urged parents of young children to ensure their offspring get the vaccine, to combat the impact of the disease which is far more dangerous to young people, especially those with underlying conditions, than seasonal flu.

"I tell every pregnant woman I talk to, that getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your baby," said Anne Schuchat, Assistant Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service.

"I would get it when it is available, because I think that the risk is substantial," she said at a White House briefing.

"As a doctor, and a public health expert, and a flu expert, if I were pregnant or my sister was pregnant, I would get the vaccine."

Clinical trials for pregnant women tested with the vaccine are expected to be complete by the end of October, while first doses of the drug are due to be available in the first week of the month.

But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said trials were taking place due to an abundance of caution, and that years of data on seasonal flu vaccines suggested there was little elevated risk from the dosage.

"When I was pregnant, I was totally reluctant to take anything at any time," said Sebelius.

But she added that there was a imbalance between the risk for pregnant women of getting vaccinated and getting a complication versus the chances of getting (A) H1N1 flu itself.

Studies show that pregnant women are among the highest risk groups in terms of complications of (A)H1N1 flu as they are more likely to face immunity deficiencies or respiratory problems.

Figures show that pregnant women account for six percent of confirmed deaths from the new flu strain, while making up only one percent of the population.

The officials also urged parents of young children, another high-risk group to get vaccinated.

"It is serious, people can die, and the people who are going to be ill and die are much more likely to be children and young adults, not the frail and elderly," Sebelius said.

"Taking a risk, getting sick is probably not a wise role of the dice. The vaccine particularly, for vulnerable populations is the best defense against it."

The US government expects to have six or seven million doses of the vaccine available in the first week of October and production will be quickly ramped up after that. A total of 250 million doses will be eventually available

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Lower Respiratory Tract Infections Linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Children
Type 2 Diabetes can be Controlled by Unripen Green Jackfruit Flour
Covid Pandemic: How Parents can Help Kids Deal with Back-to-School Anxiety
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Breech Presentation and Delivery Pregnancy and Complications Swine Flu Anemia in Pregnancy Iron & Folate Deficiency Anemia In Pregnancy Diet for Anemia in Pregnancy The Magic Feeling of Being A Mother Nocturnal Leg Cramps Stress and Miscarriage 

Recommended Reading
Swine Flu
Swine flu, a type of influenza caused by a new strain of the H1N1 Type A influenza virus has ......
Pregnancy and Complications - Various Possible Complications
Complications can be divided into early pregnancy complications, minor complications and serious ......
Pregnant Women at High Risk of Flu Complications: Study
Pregnant women who contract swine flu are four times more likely to develop severe illness that ......
Pregnant Women In Canada Warned About Swine Flu Risks
Pregnant women are at a greater risk than the rest of the population of suffering serious ......
Anemia in Pregnancy
Anemia is the commonest blood disorder that may occur in pregnancy and is usually due to low iron or...
Breech Presentation and Delivery
Breech birth or presentation is delivery of the fetus in a bottom or foot-first position. Causes of ...
Diet for Anemia in Pregnancy
A modified diet rich in Folate, Vitamin B12 and Iron is essential for the rapid rise in hemoglobin ....
Iron & Folate Deficiency Anemia In Pregnancy
About 95% of the anemia cases are due to iron deficiency....
Nocturnal Leg Cramps
Nocturnal leg cramps are painful muscle contractions, which occur in the calf, foot or thigh muscles...
Pregnancy and Complications
In-depth guide for expecting mothers to overcome health complications related to early or late pregn...
Stress and Miscarriage
New research indicates that too much stress could lead to miscarriage. What are the risk factors to ...
The Magic Feeling of Being A Mother
Selecting the doctor who will help you in your pregnancy is a very personal decision. ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use