If you’re pregnant or thinking about having a baby, you’ll want to read this article in the Baltimore Sun that discusses the current dilemma women in the States face about getting vaccinated against H1N1. A few excerpts below:
"Soon, doctors will have to convince expectant mothers and parents of babies and toddlers that even though they might not have gotten flu shots in the past, it is of the utmost importance to do so this year as H1N1 – a new and unpredictable virus – sweeps in with cooler weather."
"For the most part, we did hear a lot of hesitancy expressed around the 2009 H1N1 vaccine – concern among some of the moms about, for instance, the newness of it and the speed with which it’s being developed," said Kris Sheedy, director of communications for the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Some of them used the word ‘guinea pig’ – ‘I don’t want myself or my child to be a guinea pig.’"
"Dr. Karen L. Kotloff, who is leading a trial of the new H1N1 vaccine at the University of Maryland’s Center for Vaccine Development, said the answer to that is clear. "There have been deaths in perfectly healthy children and adults," she said. "It’s a very sad thing when a perfectly healthy pregnant woman dies of a vaccine-preventable disease. … A little shot in the arm versus a visit to the ICU – that’s a no-brainer."
"Gleason figured she would get vaccinated after seeing a television news piece urging pregnant women to be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus. So when she went to see her obstetrician, she asked him about the swine flu shot. Her doctor warned her against it, saying the vaccine would contain live virus, "and the live virus is actually fatal to the fetus," Gleason recalled.
"In truth, other doctors and vaccine experts said, the flu shot is not made from live virus. (The nasal spray vaccine, also being tested, is made from live virus and is not recommended for pregnant women). This is what Taber and other doctors will be up against."
Meanwhile, MyHealthBeijing has a post about the new availability of the swine flu vaccine in Beijing. Dr. Richard, the author, recommends recommends jabs for “children 6 months-18 years, people older than 65, those with chronic health conditions and pregnant women… Children 6 months-59 months are the most vulnerable group; they should get the flu vaccine annually.” His post also includes links for those seeking more information.
In related news, check out this recent post on China’s new H1N1 vaccine.