Conflicting Information Abounds- Pregnant women and the H1N1 vaccine

While waiting for a friend at my local health center, I was reading a poster hanging on the wall listing who they recommend get the H1N1 vaccine. Among those they considered “at risk” and candidates for getting the vaccine were pregnant women. This didn’t sound right. I had already read about the numerous risks associated with the vaccine and knew from my previous pregnancies that several vaccines are counter indicated for pregnant women as stated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Not only was my local clinic advising pregnant women to get the H1N1 vaccine, but so was the CDC and the FDA, despite the fact that it was not rigorously tested for safety and the fact that some of the ingredients have not been proven to be safe, such as themerosal. In fact, my state lifted the ban on mercury-containing vaccines to pregnant women and children under 3 despite the fact that in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines.  In another contradictory statement the FDA says that “depending on the vaccine formulations used and the weight of the infant, some infants could have been exposed to cumulative levels of mercury during the first six months of life that exceeded EPA recommended guidelines for safe intake of methylmercury”.  Additional exposure in utero to mercury in vaccines the mother received add to this load.

Furthermore, in New ACIP Guidelines: Guidance for Vaccine Recommendations in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women, the CDC states that:

1. “If a live-virus vaccine is inadvertently given to a pregnant woman, or if a woman becomes pregnant within 4 weeks after vaccination, she should be counseled about the potential effects on the fetus.”

Some advise I learned from a doctor friend of mine was to always take the vaccine inserts and keep them in a safe place, in case you have an adverse reaction and need to report it to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. However, he didn’t advise me to read the insert before the vaccine is injected. Most of us assume that if our doctor gives us a shot, it should be safe. Well, if they were 100% safe, there would be no need for the VAERS.

Whose responsibility is it to educate us about  unsafe ingredients such as themerosal and adjuvants such as squalene or possible adverse reactions? If you educate yourself and read the insert for Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent vaccine you would learn that:

Safety and effectiveness of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine have not been established in pregnant women or nursing mothers and in the pediatric population below 6 months of age.

It is also not known whether these vaccines can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine is administered to a nursing woman.

This last statement is contradicted by the CDC in it’s “Questions and Answers for Patients” page where it clearly states that “both seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccines should be given to breastfeeding mothers and breastfeeding women can receive either the shot or the nasal spray form of the vaccine.” There is nothing in this statement that advises breastfeeding mothers to be cautious.

I wonder if the FDA, CDC or the OBGYN’s  at my clinic have read these inserts.

For more on this conflicting information:

Medical Doctor Retracts H1N1 Vaccine Advice After Reading Insert!

The ‘big lie’: H1N1 coincidences, contradictions and conspiring

This is going to be a public relations, trust your government and your health officials campaign.

For some safe ways to boost your immune system during the cold and flu season, read:

“Another Very Good Way to Fight the Flu and Increase Your Chance of Survival” by Ben Greenfield

4 thoughts on “Conflicting Information Abounds- Pregnant women and the H1N1 vaccine

  1. babyreese says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’m sick of being looked at like I’m stupid and irresponsible when I keep refusing the vaccine (as a pregnant woman).


    1. chiquituno says:

      Thanks for your comment. Questioning and learning about your health options is far from being stupid or irresponsible. Not knowing what is being injected into you or your child’s bodies and the possible side affects seems irresponsible to me. All the best for a healthy and happy pregnancy and birth experience!


  2. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am currently on a 30 days unpaid suspension from my job and I’m looking at getting fired because my job made the H1N1 vaccine mandatory. I have refused the vaccine beause I am both pregnant and breastfeeding. Besides this information I was exposed to the H1n1 virus multiple times a day (I work in the healthcare industry) in October and November, during the early stages of pregnancy when I was the most vulnerable, without any precautionary measures,and the vaccine wasn’t available to me at that time. I feel that my immune system has done it’s job of protecting me and my children (both inside and outside of me).


  3. TelesoroRot says:

    Interesting article and one which should be more widely known about in my view. Your level of detail is good and the clarity of writing is excellent. I have bookmarked it for you so that others will be able to see what you have to say.

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