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Is it necessary to get swine flu vaccination while pregnant?

Q: My 29 years old wife is in the ninth month of her pregnancy. I have been reading newspapers regarding dangers of Swine Flu and its effects on pregnant women. Is it necessary to get swine flu vaccination while pregnant? Does it affect baby’s growth?

A:There are two types of influenza vaccines. One is the inactivated influenza vaccine that is given by injection (sold in India under the brand name of Vaxiflu-S by Zydus). This is the type of vaccine that can be given to pregnant women if there is clear need i.e. widespread and large number of H1N1 flu cases in the community. In the absence of clinical trials during pregnancy, H1N1 injectable vaccine is not routinely recommended for all women during pregnancy. The other type of influenza vaccine, “nasal - spray” influenza vaccine is made with live weakened influenza virus. The live attenuated intranasal influenza vaccine is not to be used during pregnancy.

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