Healthcare Blog

One Dose Of H1N1 Vaccine Sufficient To Protect Pregnant Women, Federal Officials Say

May 19, 2017

Pregnant women can receive protection against influenza with one dose of the H1N1 vaccine, while children younger than age 10 should receive two doses, federal officials said on Monday while revealing further results on clinical trials of the vaccine, the New York Times reports (McNeil, New York Times, 11/3).

According to health officials, pregnant women are particularly at risk of contracting H1N1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that at least 100 pregnant women in the U.S. have been hospitalized in intensive care units since the H1N1 outbreak began last spring and that 28 pregnant women have died after contracting the virus (Reichard, CQ HealthBeat, 11/2).

Officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced the new findings of the clinical trials, which were conducted with volunteers between Sept. 9 and mid-October (Geracimos, Washington Times, 11/3). According to the trials, an analysis of blood samples from 50 pregnant women in their second or third trimesters obtained 21 days after the women received a single, 15-microgram dose of the vaccine found that 92% had an immune response sufficient enough to assume they would be protected from H1N1. Although the results were better for pregnant women who received a 30-microgram dose -- 96% experienced a sufficient immune response -- federal officials concluded that the 15-microgram dose would be a satisfactory standard for vaccination (CQ HealthBeat, 11/2).

In addition, federal health officials suggested that pregnant women receive the vaccine through injection, even though a World Health Organization expert panel concluded that live nasal-spray vaccines are safe for pregnant women (New York Times, 11/3).

Anthony Fauci, director of NIAID, said the findings "should be reassuring news for those women who have already received the vaccine, and it is vital information for those women who have not been vaccinated" (Stein, Washington Post, 11/3).

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