Thursday, January 14 2010 5:26 PM EST2010-01-14 22:26:31 GMT
Although the swine flu vaccine is widely available, the state health department says the highest number of confirmed cases are among young adults. However, it appears that those between 18 and 24 are the least likely to be vaccinated.More >>
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - According to the CDC, pregnant women are four times more likely than the general population to be hospitalized or have serious complications from either the H1-N1 virus or other flu illnesses. It's a statistic that doctors say expectant mothers should take seriously.
Susan Kelly is expecting a baby this December, and as you can see she already has her hands full with toddler Stella.
Both reasons she decided to get vaccinated against swine flu.
"I cannot risk getting sick for my family or my job, and I know there's a lot of worries out there, but for us, I just didn't feel like any of them out-weighed the fact that I could get sick and be in the hospital and risk the life of my baby that's still inside me," said Kelly.
Dr. Tracy Hicks says Kelly has the right idea. She's concerned about all the myths and fears that exist about the swine flu vaccine, which she says is exactly the same as getting a seasonal flu shot.
"This is a dead vaccine. You absolutely cannot get the flu from the vaccine itself; there's no risk to your baby, but there is a huge protective benefit to your baby to get the vaccine because you will pass some of the immunity to the fetus, so there are a lot of myths out there," said Hicks.
The truth is more pregnant women are having serious complications and dying from swine flu than the general population. That's why health professionals say getting the vaccine is crucial for pregnant women and also for mothers with newborns.
If expectant mothers can't find the swine flu vaccine, there are other things they can be doing to protect themselves. The two biggies are keep your hands washed, and stay out of crowds where people could be sick.
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