Study prompts call to examine flu vaccine and miscarriage

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Bill Would Make It Illegal For Employers To Fire Or Punish Employees Over Refusal To Get Flu Vaccine

Health officials say they understand that the information may be of concern to pregnant women.

The new findings were part of an observational study published Wednesday in the journal Vaccine. "By receiving a flu vaccine every year, healthcare professionals can protect their patients from the risky - often deadly - complications of flu while maintaining their own health and preventing the spread of illness in their facilities".

"The 2017 Virginia HAI Advisory Group consensus statement on the annual vaccination of healthcare workers to prevent influenza is a tool that healthcare systems can use to show support for the vaccination of healthcare workers", said Christopher S. Bailey, Senior Vice President, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association. Health officials said there was no reason to change the recommendations by the government that all women who are pregnant receive a flu vaccination.

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The study had limitations, the CDC said, including small numbers of participants, and the fact that it couldn't estimate the actual risk of a miscarriage after vaccination.

The authors also said the results could be biased if women who sought care for their miscarriages were also more likely to have received flu vaccinations.

The authors of the new study, two of whom are researchers for the CDC, saw a substantial difference when looking at women who miscarried within 28 days of receiving a flu shot that included swine flu protection, but it was only during the time that women also received a flu shot the year before.

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This study focused only on miscarriages, which occur in the first 19 weeks of pregnancy and are common.

A possible cause for the connection, if it's legitimate, could be that the vaccines were developed after the swine flu pandemic. Insurance information (private or TennCare) is necessary for the Health Department to file a claim for reimbursement, although being uninsured will not keep a student from getting the vaccine as long as the consent form has been provided.

The CDC is participating in an ongoing study investigating pregnant women who received the flu vaccine during three more recent flu seasons, starting in 2012-2013.

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"This is exactly why we study these things to make sure vaccines are safe and effective", said the CDC's Cohn.

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