Pregnancy: H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) and the H1N1 Vaccine

Will the seasonal flu shot also protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu?

Seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu are caused by different viruses. The seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against the 2009 H1N1 flu. Also, the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine will not protect against seasonal flu.

Are there flu vaccines that pregnant women should not get?

The seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccines can be given by shot or by nasal spray. Pregnant women should get the "flu shot" - a vaccine made with killed flu virus. This one is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The other type of flu vaccine - a nasal spray - is not approved for pregnant women. This vaccine is made with live, weakened flu virus. Nasal spray flu vaccine should be used only in healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant. The nasal spray vaccine is safe for women after they have delivered, even if they are nursing.

Can the seasonal flu shot and the 2009 H1N1 flu shot be given at the same time?

Seasonal and 2009 H1N1 flu shots can be given on the same day but should be given at different sites (e.g., one shot in the left arm and the other shot in the right arm). If a woman is getting her vaccines after delivery, she can get the nasal spray flu vaccine. However, she should not get the seasonal and 2009 H1N1 nasal spays on the same day; they should be given 4 weeks apart.

Is the 2009 H1N1 flu shot safe for pregnant women?

The seasonal flu shot has been given to millions of pregnant women over many years. Flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies. The 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine is being made in the same way and at the same places where the seasonal flu vaccine is made.

What studies have been done on the 2009 H1N1 flu shots and have any been done in pregnant women?

Studies to test the 2009 H1N1 flu shots in healthy children and adults and pregnant women are being done now. Results are available from some of the studies done in non-pregnant adults and children. These results show that the immune system responded well to the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and the safety results were very similar to those seen in studies of seasonal flu vaccine. These studies are being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the vaccine manufacturers.

Does the 2009 H1N1 flu shot have mercury in it?

There is no evidence that thimerosal (a mercury preservative in vaccine that comes in multi-dose vials) is harmful to a pregnant woman or a fetus. However, because some women are concerned about thimerosal during pregnancy, vaccine companies are making preservative-free seasonal flu vaccine and 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine in single-dose syringes for pregnant women and small children. CDC advises pregnant women to get flu shots either with or without thimerosal.

Does the 2009 H1N1 flu shot have an adjuvant or squalene in it?

Adjuvants are agents that are sometimes added to a vaccine to make it more effective. There are no adjuvants (such as squalene) in either the 2009 H1N1 or seasonal flu shot used in the United States.

Can the 2009 H1N1 flu shot be given at any time during pregnancy?

Both seasonal flu shots and 2009 H1N1 flu shots are recommended for pregnant women at any time during pregnancy.

How many 2009 H1N1 flu shots will a pregnant woman need to get?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of one shot for full protection for persons 10 years and older. Therefore, a pregnant woman is recommended to get one dose of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.

Should the 2009 H1N1 flu shot be given to a pregnant woman who had flu between April 2009 and now? Do I need a test to know if I need the shot or not?

A pregnant woman who had a flu-like illness at any time in the past should still get the 2009 H1N1 shot because she cannot assume that the illness she had was caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus. Pregnant women who had flu symptoms in the past do not need to be tested now, but should get the vaccine.

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