The nine-month roller coaster ride for a pregnant mother has its highs and lows – of the sheer joy about the life forming within her womb, and the revulsion of an expanding spandex size. Another woe that may hit mothers is the threat of their immunocompromised situation should the H1N1 virus infect them. Of the deaths that have been reported since September 3, 2009, 6% of these fatalities are pregnant women. This group also experiences higher rates of hospitalization than the general population and as a CDC top priority, they will be on the shortlist to receive the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
The (oh-so-cool!) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is conducting clinical trials to ascertain the appropriate doses of vaccine needed to trigger immune response in pregnant women against the H1N1 virus. The study will enroll 120 women at medical research institutions nationwide.