Initial Results Show Pregnant Women Mount Strong Immune Response to One Dose of 2009 H1N1 Flu Vaccine
Two strains of flu, seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu, are currently circulating in the United States. Most healthy people recover from the flu without problems, but certain people are at high risk for serious complications. One high risk group is pregnant women and initial results from an ongoing clinical trial show a good response to one dose of the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine.
Balintfy: One of the best ways to prevent the spread of the influenza virus, both seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 virus is with a vaccine or flu shot.
Dr. Fauci: Whenever you have an influenza threat, historically these vaccines have been quite effective.
Balintfy: Dr. Anthony Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Fauci: People in the risk categories, such as pregnant women, young children and people with underlying conditions, that would predispose them to the complication, should unquestionably get both of them.
Balintfy: Pregnant women are among the most vulnerable to serious health problems from 2009 H1N1 infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since the outbreak began last spring, at least 100 pregnant women have been hospitalized in intensive care units in the United States and at the last official count, 28 pregnant women have died. But Dr. Fauci says, initial results from an ongoing clinical trial show immune responses in healthy pregnant women are comparable to those seen in healthy adults at the same time point after a single vaccination. He recommends both H1N1 and seasonal vaccines.
Dr. Fauci: Itís never too early, and itís never too late, so when itís available, you should do it.
Balintfy: Dr. Fauci adds that that in addition to vaccines, which are the best way to prevent the spread of influenza, there are common sense, hygienic things that can be done, like frequent hand washing, and not touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Dr. Fauci: If you are sick, you should cover your cough with your – put your face into the inner part of your elbow, you should sneeze into a handkerchief and throw it away. If youíre sick and a child, you shouldnít be sent to school; and youíre sick and an adult you should not go to work. Those are the kind of common sense things that not only protect you but protect society.
Balintfy: For more tips and information about preventing both seasonal and H1N1 influenza, plus what pregnant women need to know about the flu, visit www.flu.gov. This is Joe Balintfy, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Joe Balintfy
Sound Bite: Dr. Anthony Fauci
Topic: H1N1, flu, influenza, vaccine, flu vaccine, pregnant women, pregnancy, 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine