Flu Vaccine Warning For Pregnant Women
Please distribute and post so every pregnant woman in America can read this!
You've altered your diet, exercised, stayed away from over the counter medications, your true hair color is revealing itself, and that wonderful bottle of wine with the Surgeon General's warning will continue stay buried in the back of the refrigerator awaiting the skinnier days ahead.
You ask yourself, "Is there anything more that I can do for me and my baby during the remainder of my pregnancy?" Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the federal government's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) there is - get the flu vaccine before this year's flu season hits. According to the CDC and ACIP, it was estimated that an average of 1 to 2 hospitalizations among pregnant women could be prevented for every 1,000 pregnant women immunized. (Prevention and Control of Influenza: Recommendations of ACIP. MMWR - May 1, 1998; 47)
My initial pregnant maternally protective hormonal response to this was utter disbelief. How could a biological pharmaceutical product be recommended for routine use for all healthy second and third trimester pregnant women? As I looked into this further, I became outraged and inspired to share the truth with pregnant women so they could make up their own minds. Here is what I found.
There are four drug manufacturers for this year's flu vaccine. The product package inserts published by the manufacturers state the disclaimer that "Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with influenza virus vaccine. It is also not known whether influenza virus vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman...Although animal
reproductive studies have not been conducted, the prescribing health-care provider should be aware of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices...The ACIP states that, if used during pregnancy,
administration of influenza virus vaccine after 14 weeks of gestation may be preferable to avoid coincidental association of the vaccine with early pregnancy
Additional reading and phone calls to the manufacturers confirmed that all four flu vaccines contain thimerosal,
a mercury derivative preservative banned by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) in over-the-counter (OTC) drug preparations
because of questions over safety.
On July 7, 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the United States Public Health Service (PHS) issued a joint statement that because of the "neuro-developmental effects posed by exposure to thimerosal", "thimerosal-containing vaccines should be removed as soon as possible." The PHS and AAP recognized that because of thimerosal in vaccines, some
children would be exposed to "a cumulative level of mercury over the first six months of life that exceeds one of the federal guidelines on methyl mercury." Hospitals around the country responded this summer by halting the administration of the thimerosal containing vaccine for hepatitis B at birth, deferring vaccination until the baby is older and more developed. What about my beloved little baby that isn't even developed enough to live outside the womb yet?
CDC is recommending we get the shot.
Even though the CDC does claim that a single study of a small number of pregnant women have demonstrated no adverse fetal effects associated with influenza vaccine; they continue and say, "however, more data are needed." Maybe this scientifically unsubstantiated recommendation is how the CDC plans on getting that data. So much for the Nazi war criminal trials at Nuremberg outlawing human experimentation without informed consent.
While I would absolutely hate to be one of the 1 in 1000 pregnant women needing to go to the hospital for the flu this winter, at this point, I feel far more threatened by the public health bureaucrats recklessly willing to experiment on me and my unborn child with a flu vaccine not proven safe for my baby.