An article in Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on how some pregnant women are skeptical of the new H1N1 vaccine. Pregnant women are among the groups strongly advised to get the vaccine, but many women are less than thrilled about the idea of getting the shot, reporting concerns about the safety of the vaccine and possible effects for the unborn baby.
I can definitely see where they are coming from, being someone who was concerned about safety of pretty much everything when I was pregnant. And there's not much research on the safety of any type of flu vaccine during the first trimester, much less thimerosal exposure in the first trimester, although the CDC says that flu vaccination is advisable in any trimester during a pandemic. Still, there are definite risks to catching the flu during pregnancy also -- and pregnant women seem to be at higher risk of having severe complications (including death) from H1N1 flu in particular. As with most cases, all you can really do is weigh the risks and benefits of both courses of action and discuss your concerns with your doctor -- then make an informed choice on how to proceed.
What are your thoughts? Do you plan to get the H1N1 flu vaccine, especially if you are currently pregnant or hope to become pregnant in the near future? Vote here.
Given the large response and widespread linking of this post over the past few weeks, I wanted to add in some links to some more articles on this site that I thought might be helpful.
- Concerns over Swine Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy
- Safety of First Trimester Flu Vaccines
- Updates on Flu Vaccine Safety Research
- Dealing with Unexplained Miscarriage