THE DAILY REPORT
NATIONAL POLITICS & POLICY | CDC Advisory Committee Likely To Place Pregnant Women Near Top of List for H1N1 Flu Shots
[July 29, 2009]
A federal vaccine advisory panel scheduled to meet Wednesday likely will recommend that pregnant women be among the first groups to receive the H1N1 influenza vaccine if a limited number of doses are available, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention usually accepts the recommendations of the panel, called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. According to the AP/Journal-Constitution
, health care workers are expected to be the No. 1 priority for receiving the vaccine.
For more than 10 years, the panel has recommended that pregnant women get vaccinated for seasonal flu, which can be a threat even to those who are young and healthy. CDC data show that pregnant women, who make up 1% of the U.S. population, have accounted for 6% of H1N1 flu deaths in the country since April, when the pandemic began.
British and Swiss health officials have recommended that women consider delaying pregnancies if possible. Most health officials have said that advice oversteps the available evidence, but they have agreed that pregnant women face significant risk from the H1N1 flu. A recent World Health Organization report stated that pregnant women appear to be "at increased risk for severe [H1N1] disease, potentially resulting in spontaneous abortion and/or death, especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy." However, WHO has not yet recommended that pregnant women get priority vaccinations. Kevin Ault, an obstetrician at Emory University
, said that pregnant women are especially vulnerable because of changes in the lungs and immune system that make it more difficult to overcome respiratory infections (Stobbe, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The information contained in this publication reflects media coverage of women’s health issues and does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Partnership for Women & Families.
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