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Flu Vaccine is Safe for Pregnant Women

Posted: October 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Flu Vaccine is Safe for Pregnant Women

A new study concludes that the flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women, even in the first trimester. The study consisted of nearly 9,000 pregnant women who received the vaccine. And the rate of birth defects was the same from women who got vaccinated and those who did not, Reutersreports.

A pregnant woman

A pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though doctors recommend that pregnant women receive a flu shot, because they are more likely than other women their age to get a severe case of the flu or have complications, most in the United Statesdo not, according to Reuters. A mere 10% to 25% of women got vaccinated each flu season over the past couple decades, said Jeanne Sheffield, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. This means there’s a market out there that flu vaccine makers are missing.

“The flu is a problem in pregnancy,”Sheffieldsaid. “But we have a vaccine to prevent it. And it’s considered safe and effective in any trimester.”

Earlier this month, the FDA approved 6 flu vaccines from companies licensed to distribute the products in the United States.


Vaccines Get Stronger

Posted: October 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Passport Health Sarasota-Bradenton Announcements, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Vaccines Get Stronger

Researchers at Oxford University discovered a compound that gives vaccines a little extra might in the fight against viruses such as the flu, HIV and herpesin mice.

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(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mice given a dose of the flu shot that included the polymer, polyethyleneimine (PEI), were protected fully against a lethal dose of the flu.  Formulas without the adjuvant or with different adjuvants didn’t show nearly as positive results.  The Oxford scientists, working with U.S. and Swedish researchers, will soon test the PEI adjuvant on ferrets.

“Gaining complete protection against flu from just one immunization is pretty unheard of, even in a study in mice,” said professor Quentin Sattentau of the Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University, who led the work.  “This gives us confidence that PEI has the potential to be a potent adjuvant for vaccines against viruses like flu or HIV, though there are many steps ahead if it is ever to be used in humans.”

The most popular adjuvant is alum, an aluminum-based compound. But it’s not the most potent.  However, mice showed a powerful immune response when PEI was included in a vaccine with a protein from HIV, flu or herpes virus.  PEI works well as an adjuvant for mucosal vaccines, those absorbed through the nose or mouth.  This is good news for those who dread needles.

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