By Kristin Beerman | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The new swine flu vaccine is now being tested by one of the groups facing the highest risk, pregnant women. Women between the ages of 18 and 39, who are in their second and third trimesters, can qualify for the trials. However, once the vaccine is made available to the general public next month, doctors encourage all pregnant women to get it, no matter how far along they are.
The CDC says the immunity mothers receive from the shot is passed onto their unborn babies and will keep protecting those infants until they are old enough to get a flu shot themselves. "There's been worse outcomes for women who are pregnant. So I wanted to protect myself, but also for newborns, you know they can't be vaccinated until they're six months old and we'll be in the middle of flu season by then," said Kelly Birdwell, and expectant mother.
Hospitalization rates among pregnant women who've come down with the H1N1 virus have been about four times higher than the general population.
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