Why Giving the Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy Doesn't Make Any Sense
July 11, 2006
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) recommends flu vaccination during all trimesters of pregnancy.
However, according to a report published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, this recommendation is unjustified, unwise, and should be withdrawn.
Citing ACIP's own sources, as well as current literature, the report based its conclusions on the following findings:
- Flu infection is rarely a threat during normal pregnancy.
- There is no "convincing evidence" that the flu vaccination is effective during pregnancy.
- Studies have not adequately assessed the risk of flu vaccination during pregnancy.
- Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative present in most flu vaccines, has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, in humans.
- Thimerosal has been linked to a number of animal reproductive toxicities including teratogenicity, mutagenicity and fetal death.
The ACIP maintains that flu vaccinations are necessary because influenza is more serious during pregnancy than at other times, yet they cite only two scientific papers to support this statement.
The report concluded that since routine administration of flu vaccine during pregnancy is ill-advised and not supported by scientific literature, and use of thimerosal during pregnancy should be contraindicated, the ACIP's policy recommendation should be withdrawn.