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FLU SHOTS AND PREGNANCY

ANCHOR LEAD: MUCH HIGHER MORTALITY IS SEEN IN PREGNANT WOMEN WITH H1N1 INFECTION THAN OTHER GROUPS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Women who are pregnant are generally advised to avoid all kinds of interventions and medications, but there’s one they shouldn’t avoid: a flu shot.  That’s especially true this season, as H1N1 infection carries a much higher risk for pregnant women than other populations.  Pranita Tamma, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins, reviews some of the data.

TAMMA:  There was data that came out early in the H1N1 season looking about a month of data, thirty four pregnant women with the flu, and a third of women who were pregnant were hospitalized, and they accounted for about 13% of all deaths due to H1N1 during this time period, and of course the pregnant patient does not account for 13% of the general population, which goes to show the severe consequences of influenza in this group of women.               :29

Tamma and colleagues have recently published a study establishing the safety of flu vaccination in pregnant women. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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