Vaccines | Fit Pregnancy


An Ounce of Prevention


Because the influenza virus can be dangerous, the American Academy of Pediatrics and virtually all other official medical groups recommend the flu shot every fall or winter for children 6 months of age and older. I almost never recommend getting the shot; I just don’t think it’s that effective. (Each year, the vaccine is formulated for the particular strains of influenza virus health experts think will strike that season, and it often misses the mark.) Instead, I believe the more important approach is to keep people from getting sick in the first place by staying healthy.

New Year = New Vaccine Schedule

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) announced changes to the childhood vaccine schedule this week, Yahoo! News reports. If you vaccinate your children, keep doing what you're doing but with a few small tweaks. Among the new recommendations, published in the journal Pediatrics:

H1N1 Flu Vaccine OK Despite Recall

U.S. health officials are recalling 800,000 pre-filled syringes of the H1N1 flu virus vaccine for infants, The New York Times reports. The targeted batch was made for children 6 months to 35 months in the nationwide effort to protect high-risk people against the "swine flu" outbreak.

Returning to H1N1

My recent blog about H1N1 stirred up some passionate debates.  The last time I had so many comments was when I wrote about a woman trying to find a doctor/hospital willing to do VBACs.  I sarcastically said, “Yeah, good luck with that,” and got some angry responses from readers who didn’t get my sarcasm.

Celebrities Improve Mothers Lives

Celebrities don’t just help motherhood en vogue; they also focus attention on causes important to families, such as efforts to end poverty, hunger and childhood disease. And while many of us are familiar with actress Angelina Jolie’s good deeds on behalf of the United Nations, and former model Christy Turlington Burns’ work for CARE, we thought you should know about some other stars’ charitable efforts.

2009 H1N1 aka Swine Flu

Public health experts continue to warn that the 2009 H1N1 virus (aka swine flu) has the potential to cause widespread, serious illness—even death. And because pregnant women are among those at highest risk, officials are recommending that they be at the front of the line to receive the vaccine. Clinical trials on pregnant women have been conducted, and a vaccine became available in October.

Docs Drop Parents Over Vaccines

Parents, beware: Pediatricians may legally deny care to your children if you refuse to vaccinate them, ABC News reports. As the anti-vaccination movement increases, some doctors in response are turning away or "firing" patients whose parents won't immunize them.

H1N1 and Pregnant Women

You can’t turn on your computer, television or radio these days without hearing about the H1N1 flu virus. It’s the number one news headline and perfect fodder for keeping 24-hour news coverage burning; and for good reason. The flu is scary stuff. With words like pandemic and state of emergency being used, this year, it feels even scarier. But is H1N1 worse than any other flu? At best it makes one feel like a dog’s dinner for a week. At worst, flu complications can require hospitalization and at the extreme end of that spectrum, cause death.

H1N1 Vaccine Proves a Hard Sell

The H1N1 vaccine will be available in the U.S. in the next few weeks, and pregnant women will be given high priority. But the question remains: Will they get the vaccine? After all, only 1 in 7 pregnant women gets a regular flu shot each winter.

Vaccines and Autism


I’ll tell you what I tell my patients: There is no proof that vaccines cause autism. But there is some agreement that they may trigger autism and other problems in a small group of susceptible children. That’s why I prefer to customize a vaccination schedule for each child. This type of amended schedule is spelled out very well in 2008’s The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child, by Robert Sears, M.D., but it is still loudly criticized by the American Academy of Pediatrics and some other experts.