Should a Pregnant Woman Take Swine Flu Vaccine?

(December 6, 2010)

Contrary to what some people believed, the swine flu, caused by the H1N1 virus, does not spread by consuming pork; instead, it is an airborne respiratory disease that can be passed on from one person to another, by being in contact with an infected person, even for a short while. This is why the swine flue pandemic created a lot of worry and panic across the globe. Hence people of all ages seriously considered various immunization options, in order to avoid contracting the disease. While several countries set up testing and immunization camps for people of all ages, in the initial stages, there was a bit of confusion about the safety of taking the swine flue vaccine in pregnancy.

Should a pregnant woman take swine flu vaccine?

There are many people who wonder and even check with doctors, “Should a pregnant woman take swine flu vaccine?” and the answer to that is “yes”. In fact, based on the information received from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), all pregnant women should immunize themselves against the flu, especially during peak flu season. However, it is quite common for women to develop allergies during the course of their pregnancy. Therefore, they need to check with their doctors because pregnant women who have shown severe reactions to previous flu vaccinations may not be advised to go in for a swine flu vaccination during pregnancy.

In fact when doctors are asked the question “Should a pregnant woman take swine flu vaccine?” most of them are quite emphatic about the importance of immunizing pregnant women against the flu and other similar diseases. This is because a pregnant woman’s immune system is generally a bit weaker, because of the pregnancy. This is only natural, since a pregnancy puts additional strain on a woman’s lungs and heart. Therefore, if a pregnant woman does get the flu, she is at a serious risk of developing some major complications like pneumonia or other respiratory illnesses. Therefore, if a pregnant women gets infected by swine flu or any other form of flu, some of the complications are could be faced are miscarriage and premature labor. Therefore, in order to avoid these situations, it is best for women to take the pregnancy swine flu vaccine.

When doctors answer the question “Should a pregnant woman take swine flu vaccine?” in the affirmative, they should also make it clear that pregnant women should choose the flu shot and not the nasal spray vaccine. This is because the flu shot is much safer for both, the baby, as well as the mother, since it is made using an inactivated virus. Hence, these flu shot vaccines are safe for use during any time of the pregnancy. However, a live virus is used in the making of the nasal spray vaccine. Hence, it could cause problems in women who are already pregnant as well as those who are trying to conceive.

Many women are also not sure if they are protected from the swine flu virus, by taking a seasonal flu shot during a certain time of the year. It is important to realize that different viruses lead to different flu conditions and immunization against one virus does not protect the body against a disease that is caused by another virus. Therefore, for immunization against the H1N1 swine flu, it is important to specifically take the swine flu vaccine for pregnancy.

There is a lot on information easily available through online resources, or through fliers that are found at gynecologists’ clinic about the swine flu vaccine and pregnancy. Moreover, in case any woman has doubts or queries about the safety of swine flu vaccine for pregnant women, she should feel free and ask her doctor about it.

Submitted by J on December 6, 2010 at 11:52

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