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ASSESSING SAFETY

ANCHOR LEAD:  THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT KEEPS STATISTICS ON FLU VACCINE SAFETY DATA, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

VAERS is the acronym for the vaccine adverse event reporting system, a joint undertaking of the CDC and the FDA that keeps data on vaccinations of all types that go awry.  Pranita Tamma, an infectious disease specialist and author of a recent study examining the safety of the flu vaccine in pregnant women, says this data too helps dispel concerns.

TAMMA: Looking at a denominator of about 2 million women, there was about 26 adverse events reported when the CDC had looked at this data, and most of these effects involved misadministration of the vaccine, with no negative consequences.  There was only 3 miscarriages reported and when you look at the background rate of miscarriages this was definitely not higher than what we would expect so we actually feel very comfortable with the data that we have in VAERS that the influenza vaccine is safe to administer to pregnant women.               :30

The clear take home message to women who are pregnant is get vaccinated at your earliest opportunity.   At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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