Thursday , 17 August 2017
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DAK urges pregnant women to get flu vaccine

‘Antivirals safe in pregnancy’

Srinagar, Jan 20 (KNS): Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today urged pregnant women to get vaccinated as this is the best means to protect them and their babies from flu.
Despite the benefits of influenza vaccination during pregnancy, majority of pregnant women in Kashmir are unvaccinated.
Voicing concern over low vaccination rates among pregnant women, President DAK and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan said that though there are clear guidelines, pregnant women are not advised by their health providers to get vaccinated.
Unvaccinated women say that they would have been vaccinated had their obstetricians recommended them.
Flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant than in healthy women who are not pregnant.
Pregnancy changes immune system, heart and lung functions that make pregnant women more prone to severe illness as well as hospitalization and death.
Getting flu during pregnancy also raises the risk of pregnancy complications including premature labor and delivery.
Preventing influenza during pregnancy is an essential element of prenatal care and the most effective strategy for preventing influenza is vaccination.
Vaccination can pass antibodies on to the baby and help protect baby for up to 6 months which is important because infants younger than 6 months are too young to get flu vaccine.
It is critically important that all obstetricians should advocate for influenza immunization and provide flu vaccine to their pregnant patients.
There is a large body of scientific studies that supports the safety of flu vaccine in pregnant women and their babies.
It is injectable flu vaccine that should be given to pregnant women and not nasal flu vaccine as it is made from live virus that makes it less appropriate during pregnancy.
Antiviral drug, Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is not teratogenic and is safe in pregnancy.
Pregnant women with suspected or confirmed influenza should receive antivirals as early as possible because treatment initiated early is more likely to provide benefit. (KNS)