Srinagar, Oct 27: Dispelling apprehensions regarding the safety of swine flu vaccine in pregnant women, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday said flu vaccine can be safely given at any stage of pregnancy.
President DAK and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communiqué said swine flu vaccine does not carry any risk to pregnant women or their babies.
DAK President said we received lot of calls on our helpline numbers from pregnant women who have fears about the safety of flu vaccine.As a result, many women have taken riskier decisions of skipping the flu shots.
“They would have been vaccinated had their health care providers removed their fears and recommended them the vaccine,” he said.
Dr Nisar said there is a large body of scientific studies that support the safety of flu vaccine in pregnant women and their babies.
“Various studies have found no evidence of pregnancy complications or adverse fetal outcomes among pregnant women after the administration of flu vaccine,” he added.
He said pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system, as a result, increases the risk of mother becoming seriously ill. Flu can harm pregnant women seriously enough to land them in hospital and cause death.
“The flu poses a major threat to unborn babies too, he said adding pregnant women with flu have increased risk of having miscarriages, premature delivery or babies born with low birth weight.”
Dr Nisar said it is critically important that pregnant women get the flu jabs and protect themselves and their babies as soon as possible.
“Getting vaccinated against flu during pregnancy helps protect the newborn baby for several months after he or she is born which is important because infants younger than six months are too young to get the vaccine,” he said.
“It is the injectable vaccine that should be given to pregnant women and not nasal spray, as it is made from live virus that makes it inappropriate during pregnancy, said Dr Nisar.