“Flu-Free and a Mom-to-Be” Event with Dr. Ashley Roman

“Protect Yourself.  Protect Your Baby.  Get your Flu Shot.”  This is the motto for their new campaign for Healthywomen.org.

Ten days ago,  I attended a flu protection meeting with other mom bloggers and Dr. Ashley Roman, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University School of Medicine and Assistant Clicnical Professor at Yale University.

It was held at City Treehouse, an indoor play place filled with different activities and a huge slide for kids under the age of 10.  While the moms talked about the flu, the kids played in the play area. It was great.

The purpose of this meeting was to learn about the risks and the need for the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 flu shot (Swine Flu).  We would also have the option to get a flu shot administered by Dr. Ashley Roman, which I did get.

Since I’m a mom of 3, I already knew most of the facts about the flu shot and the benefits of getting one too but I learned lots of new information as well.

The one thing I’m still unsure of is the H1N1 flu shot.  I guess it’s because I’ve been hearing lots of news lately that there isn’t enough information about the risks of the shot and the effects it will have in the long run.  Even though Dr. Ashley Roman advised all of us there that it was indeed safe for everyone, I’m still undecided.

I learned a few things at the meeting.  They are:

  • Babies under the age of 6 months should NOT get the flu shot.
  • Pregnant women are encouraged to get the flu shot because the flu can be very dangerous and even deadly being that the mother’s immune system is very vulnerable.
  • When a pregnant woman gets a flu shot, the fetus will be protected through out the pregnancy and after the baby is born, he/she will be protected for 6 months.
  • Children and adults that have chronic diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, COPD, HIV are strongly encouraged to get a flu shot.

Below are some facts everyone should be aware of:

*Influenza – commonly known as the flu – is a significant cause of sickness, hospitalization and deaths annually in the U.S.  Each year, seasonal influenza causes an estimated 200,000 hospitalizations & 36,000 deaths a year.

*From April – September 2009, the new H1N1 flu has caused 81 pediatric deaths and a higher than expected hospitalizations that have exceeded average flu season rates for children 5-17 years old and adults 18-49 years old.

*In the U.S., there are some forms of seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccines that are thimerosal-free.  Thimerosal is a preservative used in many vaccines preparations.

  • Six states have banned the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines in children and pregnant women (California, Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New York and Washington).
  • Numerous states have proposed bills banning thimerosal-containing vaccines for administration to children and pregnant women including: Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Virgina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maryland, New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.
  • The U.S. Public Health Service supports the elimination/reduction of thimerosal in vaccines to decrease mercury exposure from all sources.

To learn more about the influenza shot, the H1N1 shot and lots more, please visit Healthywomen.org.

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