According to Medical News Today on Tuesday, health officials have analyzed the data from the Vaccines and Medications in Pregnancy Surveillance System (VAMPSS), a national study from 2009-2011 to gather data on the safety of the H1N1 vaccine during pregnancy.
They found that the pregnant women who were vaccinated were no more likely to have a miscarriage, a baby born with a birth defect or a baby born smaller than normal, compared with the women who did not get a vaccination.
Though the vaccinated women were more likely to have their babies early, it was, on average, only 3 days earlier than the unvaccinated women.
After comparing influenza vaccine use in the two groups from 2009-2011, the research revealed that there was "no significant evidence of an increased risk of any specific birth defects."
Pros of flu vaccine
When it comes to the H1N1 flu, children and young adults seems to be at greatest risk for complications.
Getting the shot won’t cause you to get the flu. It contains dead viruses, so catching the flu from the vaccine is basically impossible. The virus can incubate for up to a week, so if you were exposed to it right before you got vaccinated you might believe (incorrectly) that the shot made you sick. Another issue is that people often use “the flu” colloquially to mean a runny nose and fever, but there are plenty of other illnesses that can cause those symptoms.
Risks of flu vaccines during pregnancy
Each and every vaccine carries an inherent risk of causing a reaction, injury, or death that can be greater for some individuals than others.
First of all, the vaccine still remains a Category C drug for woman during pregnancy. See more about medications during pregnancy here. All medications a pregnant woman puts into her body passes through the placenta into the fetus's blood stream, including vaccinations, oral medications, and epidural anesthesia.
Some flu vaccines still contain mercury as a preservative, despite a 1998 FDA instruction to remove mercury from all drugs. According to the CDC, two groups are most vulnerable to methylmercury — the fetus and children ages 14 and younger.
Flu shot alternatives
All fluids, including soups, help alleviate a respiratory illness. Fluids help to thin secretions, making it easier for the body to clear them. The best are diluted juices, homemade lemonade, lots of nourishing broth and homemade soups. Miso and chicken soups are good choices.
Take high doses of Vitamin C, vitamin E, Selenium, and Zinc. Selenium blocks the mutations that cause the most dangerous form of flu.
The antiviral Echinacea and antibacterial Goldenseal both stimulate the immune system. Goldenseal also helps to soothe mucous membranes. Take one dose of echinacea and goldenseal combination remedy three times daily for five days. There are some herbs to avoid during pregnancy, such as these.
If you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant, will you get the flu shot?