• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Pregnant women concerned about H1N1

October 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The nasal H1N1 vaccine contains a live virus and is not recommended for pregnant women, but now that the injectable version is expected this week. Health officials say pregnant women should be the first in line, but many are expressing some reluctance."At first I wasn't going to do it. I didn't think," said Mari Abrams. "There was so much out there negative."

Mari Abrams does marketing for Glendale Adventist Medical Center so she's well aware of the dangers of swine flu. But throughout her 27-week pregnancy, she was on the fence about getting the H1N1 vaccine.

"I've done a ton of research online and there are a ton of people who are for it and tons of people that say it will kill you," said Abrams.

The CDC says pregnant women who contract the H1N1 virus are four times more likely to be admitted to the hospital than the general population.

During pregnancy, infectious disease experts say women have a diminished capacity to handle pneumonia, which puts all their organs at risk. That's why doctors recommend pregnant women be one of the first to get both the regular flu and the H1N1 vaccines.

"We'll my own sister is pregnant and my recommendation to her was you need the flu shot," said ER physician Serineh Voskanian Melidonian. "You need to get the regular flu and the swine flu shot that is the recommendation by the CDC and that's the only way we can really go about this."

Mari says after asking a lot of people and having a long discussion with her doctor, she has decided to get the H1N1 vaccine.

"I need to get this vaccine. It's very important to me, for my family, for my son, for my unborn little girl, that it could protect her too," said Abrams. "I'll probably be one of the first in line, but it won't be without being nervous about it. I am nervous about it, but think it's important to do."

Federal health officials report in the first four months of the outbreak, from April to August, 100 pregnant women infected with H1N1 were hospitalized and 28 have died.

You should talk to your doctor if you have any questions about getting the vaccine.


Load Comments