Flu Pregnancy

As a result of a recent poll carried out by Mumsnet, pregnant women are likely to reject the new swine flu vaccine when it becomes available in October this year. Out of 1,458 who responded to the survey, including 562 pregnant women who stated that they would probably or definitely NOT have the jab once it is available. The study also found that 46 per cent of those with children aged under five said that they would not take their children to receive the vaccine.

A recent letter leaked to the Daily Mail Newspaper recently written by Professor Elizabeth Miller, head of the Health Protection Agency warning neurologists about the swine flu vaccine of 1976 which was linked to a devastating neurological condition Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). “The vaccines used to combat an expected swine flu pandemic in 1976 were shown to be associated with GBS and were withdrawn from use.” As a result thousands of people sued the US Government believing that they suffered side effects from this vaccine. Following the 1976 mass vaccination against swine flu in the US, a retrospective study found a possible eight-fold increase in the incidence of GBS. More people died of the flu jab than from swine flu, as a result the vaccine was withdrawn after just 10 weeks.

There are now concerns about the fast track testing procedures and doctors have been told to monitor the vaccine to detect any side effects in particular the deadly (GBS) which causes respiratory failure and death.

The drug companies making the Tamiflu vaccine are under enormous pressure to produce millions of doses as quickly as possible; as a result they will only be marginally tested for quality. This fast track approval has been authorized by the FDA for the H1N1 vaccine, both in the USA and Europe.

Governments face an uphill task to convince pregnant women to agree to have the swine flu jab. According to reports many more are worried about the vaccine itself rather than the virus. The fact is that the vaccine has yet to be tested on children and pregnant mothers, which are one of the main groups to be targeted for the first flu shots.