01 December 2009

To have or not to have, that is the question

I am due to have the swine flu vaccine on Friday and am still in tow minds whether to have it or not. If I wasn't pregnant and was offered it I wouldn't really hesitate, but being 31 weeks pregnant now I don't know what to do for the best.

At the moment I feel that the risks and complications of getting swine flu in the third trimester outweigh the risks of the vaccine BUT as it is a new vaccine and had been produced pretty quickly I don't know how I should feel about having it.

I spoke to my midwife yesterday who handed me a leaflet printed by the Government - who want all pregnant women to have the vaccine - so I didn't expect them to say not to have it.

I really am in a bit of a pickle and don't quite know what to do! Any views or experiences with receiving the vaccine would be greatly appreciated!


Busy little Bee said...

Hi Esther.:oD I totally understand your problem in deciding on this subject. I am not pregnant nor am I in any of the critical groups, still I am thinking wether I should have it or not when it gets available for everybody... :o/

I know of two people who have had the vaccine and three people who's been sick with the swine flu. All the sick ones have recovered without even a trip to the hospital.:o) One of the vaccinated ones I know only had a sore arm and didn't get any reaction on the vaccine. The other one I know of was rushed to the hospital not witholding anything she ate or drank for days. She's recovered now but it was a tough time there for her and her family.:o(

I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help really. Oh, I have one other thing, some info on the old way of making the vaccine: they know a lot about that type of vaccine because it's been tried out a lot more than the newer one has. The reaction that occures after taking the vaccine happens because they use older type of preservatives, that may give over sensitive persons a reaction.

LissyLou said...

it's really hard to know Esther - i'm due to have it too because of my heart condition and i'm really not sure. My friend had it last week, she had a terrible headache and an achy arm and neck - that seems the only side effects.

My bro - in -law is a nurse and he said i should get it, although he isn't having it himself!!!

Rosie said...

Hi Esther, I am not pregnant, but have a dodgy immune system, so I had my jab last wednesday. My arm was a bit sore for a couple of days and on the thursday I felt a bit achey. Was fine the next day. Perhaps what we read in the press is hyped up a bit, if nothing exciting happens they have to write about something... can you talk to your midwife again, not much use handing you a leaflet really.


Kyoko said...

Hi Esther!
This is very hard. I don't know the risk and know much about it. Though the best thing is to read as many unbiased papers as possible about this subject.
I hope you are alright. No matter what decision you make, it will the the right one.
BTW have you received the package?
Hope you did!! ;)

amertrine said...

C/P taken from Q&A from nhs.uk website. Hope this helps answer your concerns.

Why are pregnant women in one of the priority at-risk groups for vaccination?

There is evidence from North America, Australia and Europe that shows that pregnant women are at increased risk of severe disease and flu-related hospital admissions. This increased risk has also been observed in the UK. The risk increases with how advanced the pregnancy is, with women in the third trimester (last three months of pregnancy) particularly at risk.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that 7-10% of all hospital admissions for swine flu are pregnant women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy. Pregnant women are ten times more likely to need care in an intensive care unit compared with the general population.

Complications, based on information in relation to seasonal flu, may include:

•pneumonia (infection of the lungs), and
•breathing difficulties.

Is the vaccine safe for pregnant women?

Yes. Both vaccines have been licensed for use in pregnant women. Licensed vaccines, including influenza vaccines, are held to a very high standard of safety and would not be licensed if they were unsafe.

In licensing the current swine flu vaccines for use in pregnancy, the European regulators gave careful consideration to the severe burden of illness caused by swine flu in pregnant women.

They also considered the safety record of seasonal influenza vaccines and the nature of the adjuvants that were incorporated into the pandemic vaccines. (Adjuvants are additional agents that are added to vaccines to make them more effective)

The seasonal flu vaccine has been given to millions of pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy and has an excellent safety record, with no reported safety concerns. This is why in the UK, and many other countries, vaccination against seasonal flu is recommended for pregnant women, whatever the stage of the pregnancy.

Extensive research has also been carried out into the use of adjuvants and there is no evidence that they are associated with any risks in pregnancy.

What was the most recent advice from JCVI on vaccinating pregnant women?

JCVI recommended that pregnant women should be given the Pandemrix vaccine as this vaccine appears to give good levels of antibodies after a single dose. This means that the Pandemrix vaccine will provide more rapid protection against swine flu than Celvapan, which requires a two-dose schedule given three weeks apart.

And as for me...yes, I have had my swine flu jab, just a sore arm for 1-2 days which is to be expected after vaccination.

Anonymous said...

Dear, you are pregnant?? Didn't know that. Congratulations :)

About the vaccine, I can't help you as I'm not in a risk group and no one in my family is... if I was, I really didn't know what to do. It's all so confusing :/


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