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									                              PREGNANT                                                         WOMEN

Why should pregnant women get an H1N1 influenza vaccina on?
Pregnant women who get sick from any type of flu are at risk for serious complications and hospitalization. H1N1
has severely impacted pregnant women who are otherwise healthy, has sent a greater percentage of pregnant
women to the hospital than the general population and has even caused severe illness and death in pregnant women.

Pregnant women account for only about 1% of the U.S. population, but so far 6% of the confirmed deaths from
H1N1 have been pregnant women. Hand washing, keeping a distance from sick people, and other steps can
help to protect pregnant women from influenza, but vaccination is still the single best way to protect pregnant
women against both seasonal flu and H1N1.

Is there a certain kind of flu vaccina on that pregnant women should get?
There are two types of flu vaccine. Pregnant women should get the “flu shot”— an inactivated vaccine
(containing killed influenza virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use
in pregnant women.

Are there any types of flu vaccina ons that pregnant women should not get?
The other type of flu vaccine — nasal-spray flu vaccine (sometimes called LAIV for “live a enuated influenza
vaccine)—is not approved for use in pregnant women. This vaccine is made with live, weakened flu viruses that
do not cause the flu. FluMist® is approved for use in healthy children and adults age 2 to 49 years old, who are
not pregnant.

Will the seasonal flu vaccine also protect against H1N1?
No. The seasonal flu vaccine is not expected to protect against H1N1. Also, the H1N1 influenza vaccine will not
protect against seasonal influenza. It is important for pregnant women to get both vaccinations.

Can the seasonal influenza vaccine and the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine be given at the same me?
It is anticipated that seasonal flu and H1N1 shots may be given on the same day but in different sites on the
body – like one in each arm. Seasonal flu shots may be available before H1N1 vaccinations. Pregnant women are
encouraged to get their seasonal flu vaccination as soon as it is available. Pregnant women will be in the first
priority group to receive early shipments of H1N1 vaccine, as well.

Is the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine safe for pregnant women?
Influenza vaccines have not been shown to cause harm to a pregnant woman or her baby. The seasonal flu shot
is proven safe and is already recommended for pregnant women. The 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine will be made
using the same processes and facilities that are used to make seasonal influenza vaccines.

What safety studies have been done on the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in pregnant women?
A number of clinical trials which test 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine are underway, including a study of the use of
H1N1 vaccine in pregnant women. These studies are being conducted by the National Institutes of Allergies and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Does the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine have preserva ve in it?
There is no scientific evidence that thimerosal (used as a preservative in vaccine packaged in multi-dose vials)
is harmful to a pregnant woman or a fetus. However, because some women are concerned about exposure to
preservatives during pregnancy, manufacturers will produce preservative-free seasonal and 2009 H1N1 influenza
vaccines in single dose syringes for pregnant women and small children. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women may receive influenza vaccine
with or without thimerosal.
                                                                                             con nued on next page
                       For more informa on, contact your local public health department or visit www.FightTheFluMO.com
                                                                                                                Sep 09
How many doses of the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine will pregnant women need to get?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of one dose of H1N1 vaccine for persons 10
years of age and older.

Should someone who had an influenza-like illness a er April 2009 s ll get vaccinated against H1N1?
There is no harm in being vaccinated for H1N1 if you had a case of the virus in the past. There are many illnesses
that cause flu-like symptoms, and there is no test that can show whether a person has already had H1N1. Also,
infection with one strain of flu virus will not provide protection against other strains. Public health officials
recommend that pregnant women who may have already had a flu-like illness still be vaccinated against both
seasonal flu and H1N1.

What are the possible side effects of the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine?
The side effects from H1N1 vaccine are expected to be similar to those from seasonal flu vaccines. The most
common side effects following vaccination are expected to be mild, such as soreness, redness, tenderness or
swelling where the shot was given. Some people might experience headache, muscle aches, fever, nausea and
fainting. If these problems occur, they usually begin soon a er the shot and may last as long as 1 – 2 days.

Like any medicine, vaccines can cause serious problems, like severe allergic reactions. However life-threatening
allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. Several studies have been done to determine if there is a link
between flu vaccine and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). The risk is estimated to be 1 case of GBS per one million
people who get vaccinated. GBS has a number of different causes, and GBS can occur in a person who has never
received an influenza vaccine. The potential benefits of influenza vaccination in preventing serious illness,
hospitalization and death substantially outweigh the estimate of risk for vaccine-associated GBS.

Anyone who has a severe (life-threatening) allergy to eggs or to any other substance in the vaccine should not
get the vaccine. People should always notify the person giving them the seasonal flu or H1N1 shot in advance
about any severe allergies, if they’ve ever had a severe allergic reaction following flu vaccination or if they have
ever had GBS.

Can the family members of a pregnant woman receive the nasal spray vaccine?
Pregnant women should not receive the live nasal spray influenza vaccine (mist), but family and household
members and other close contacts of pregnant women (including healthcare personnel) who are 2 through 49
years old, healthy and not pregnant may receive live nasal spray vaccine.

Can a pregnant healthcare worker administer the live nasal influenza vaccine?
Yes. No special precautions (such as gloves) are necessary. Hands should be washed or cleaned with waterless
hand sanitizer before and a er administering the vaccine or having any direct contact with patients in a health
care se ng.

It is important to remember that infants less than 6 months old are not eligible to be
vaccinated. It is strongly recommended that everyone who lives with or provides care
for infants less than 6 months of age receive both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 flu
shot to provide protection for the infant.

                       For more informa on, contact your local public health department or visit www.FightTheFluMO.com
                                                                                                                Sep 09

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