Link Between Flu Vaccine and Miscarriage?

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Link Between Flu Vaccine and Miscarriage?

September 19
15:51 2017

A century ago, the flu virus would kill thousands of Americans on a regular basis. Many of the victims were young children, the elderly and people with other health conditions. The virus spread and acted like a plague of sorts, causing many people to fear it just as much as the plagues of old. I recall my grandfather telling me that he remembers a time when he was young that a flu epidemic swept across the land. It killed tens of thousands of people, including a few relatives. When he got sick and was told he had the flu, he thought it was a death sentence and it scared him really bad. He was pretty sick for a couple of weeks, but managed to survive it, thankfully.

Vaccines were known a century ago. In fact, the first recorded vaccine took place in 1796 when Edward Jenner inoculated an 8-year-old boy, using the fluid from a cowpox pustule. The boy developed a single blister, but nothing more. A year later, Jenner again inoculated the boy, but nothing developed and the boy didn’t get sick nor did he contract the cowpox.

In 1885, Louis Pasteur developed a vaccine for rabies. After that, vaccines were developed for anthrax, cholera diphtheria, plague, tetanus, tuberculosis and typhoid by the 1930s. By the 1950s vaccines had been developed for measles, mumps, polio and rubella, among others.

Today, we hear commercials telling us to get our flu shots to help prevent us from catching the disease, which can and does still kill people. They highly recommend that older, younger and sicker people get flu shots, which really are flu vaccines developed from the latest strain going around.

A growing number of parents have been concerned over having their children vaccinated, claiming that some studies have linked vaccines to the sudden increase in cases of autism. Some claim there is sufficient proof for this concern while others say that there is no conclusive evidence to support the fear and that it’s worse to risk a child’s health by not having them vaccinated. The jury is still out on this one.

However, a group of researchers are suggesting that there may be a possible link between flu vaccines and miscarriages, as reported:

“Researchers studying the flu vaccine in pregnancy have found a hint of a possible link between miscarriage early in pregnancy and the flu vaccine in women who received a certain version of the vaccine two years in a row.”

It’s the first study to identify a potential link between miscarriage and the flu vaccine and the first to assess the effect of repeat influenza vaccination and risk of miscarriage. The findings suggest an association, not a causal link, and the research is too weak and preliminary, experts said, to change the advice, which is based on a multitude of previous studies, that pregnant women should get a flu vaccine to protect them from influenza, a deadly disease that may cause serious birth defects. But the study is likely to raise questions about the safety of the vaccine as flu season gets underway.”

Amanda Cohn, Senior Adviser for Vaccines at the CDC, commented on the study, saying:

“I think it’s really important for women to understand that this is a possible link, and it is a possible link that needs to be studied and needs to be looked at over more [flu] seasons.”

“We need to understand if it’s the flu vaccine, or is this a group of women [who received flu vaccines] who were also more likely to have miscarriages.”

Edward Belongia, a Senior Epidemiologist at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute in Wisconsin also warned caution about the study, saying:

“Science is an incremental process, and a lot of people don’t understand that very seldom does a single study provide a definitive answer that can lead to changes in recommendations.”

Therefore, no one saying that there is definitive proof of a link to women who have had flu vaccines with having a miscarriage. Further studies are necessary to either verify the preliminary findings or disprove them. Therefore, we are not recommending that women planning on getting pregnant avoid getting their flu shots, but do talk to your doctor first.

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