A Centers for Disease Control advisory panel has recommended that pregnant women get top priority for an H1N1 vaccine when it is expected to become available this fall. How is this recommendation reverberating on the frontlines? The Takeaway turns to Dr. Richard Wenzel, an epidemiologist and Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, who has just returned from studying the spread of the flu in South America. Also joining the conversation are Leila Laniado, an Atlanta resident who is 5 months pregnant and weighing her options, and Dr. Laura Riley, an OB/GYN at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston explains what she is telling her patients about the vaccine.
"It's clear that the CDC suggests that pregnant women be at the top of the list. I think what pregnant women need to do is go into their obstetricians or primary care physicians and say, 'I'm pregnant, I want the vaccine, I understand that there are some safety issues potentially, but I also understand that getting the flu in this situation could be far worse.'"
—Dr. Laura Riley on flu treatment for pregnant women