Pregnancy: Swine Flu and the H1N1 Vaccine (cont.)
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What are the possible side effects of the 2009 H1N1 flu shots?
The side effects from 2009 H1N1 flu shots are expected to be like those from seasonal flu shots. The most common side effects after flu shots are mild, such as being sore and tender and/or red and swollen where the shot was given. Some people might have headache, muscle aches, fever, and nausea or feel tired. If these problems happen, they usually begin soon after the shot and may last as long as 1-2 days. Some people may faint after getting any shot. Sometimes, flu shots can cause serious problems like severe allergic reactions. But, life-threatening allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. A person who has a severe (life-threatening) allergy to eggs or to anything else in the vaccine should not get the shot, even if she is pregnant. Pregnant women should tell the person giving the shots if they have any severe allergies or if they have ever had a severe allergic reaction following a flu shot.
Is the 2009 H1N1 flu shot expected to be associated with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)?
In 1976, an earlier type of swine flu vaccine was associated with cases of a severe paralytic illness called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) at a rate of approximately 1 case of GBS per 100,000 persons vaccinated. Some studies done since 1976 have shown a small risk of GBS in persons who received the seasonal influenza vaccine. This risk is estimated to be no more than 1 case of GBS per 1 million persons vaccinated. Other studies have shown no increase in risk of GBS. Pregnant women should tell the person giving the shots if they have ever had GBS.
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