Tokyo: Amid fears of pregnant women being
more vulnerable to flu, a new study has claimed that the
vaccine for seasonal influenza has a 90 per cent effectiveness
for expectant mothers and their fetuses, with similar
effects likely for the new flu as well.
The rate refers to the probability of pregnant women
successfully producing an antibody against the virus so as to
prevent infection or severe symptoms and the baby in their
wombs were also found to build up immunity as a result,
according to a research by National Center for Child Health
Such research is rare around the world as pregnant women
and their fetuses require careful handling due to higher
health risks, according to the Tokyo-based center.
"They did not have side-effects either. The manufacturing
method of the vaccine for the new influenza is basically the
same, so we can expect similar effects," Koshi Yamaguchi lead
author of the research said.
The research involved studying the effects of several
types of seasonal flu vaccinations on 125 pregnant women,
aged between 25 and 41 who were in their 15th to 39th week,
who came to the center between 2007 and 2008.
For the women who responded positively to the vaccines,
the research team also found in tests conducted at childbirth
that the babies had higher antibody values than their mothers.
Pregnant women and young children are among those
expected to be given priority in terms of vaccination for the
new H1N1 strain of flu as they are at high risk of being
infected and falling into serious condition.