‘Don’t listen to the anti-vaxxers’

pregnant woman vaccination pregnancy

While an anti-vax message warning pregnant women against flu vaccination is spreading around social media channels, health leaders are saying otherwise

An anti-vaccination message claiming that the FluQuadri vaccination is still in trial stages has not been tested on pregnant women is making the rounds on Facebook and other social media platforms, The Courier Mail has highlighted.

The online post argues that it is stated in the vaccine inserts that pregnant women being administered the flu vaccine are taking part in a trial.

It also argues that FluQuadri has not been evaluated for the possible effects on human fertility.

Health professionals are warning people not to listen to the anti-vaccination message.

“Simply put, all the scientific information and evidence points to the total safety and efficacy of influenza vaccination, especially for pregnant women,” says Australian Medical Association (AMA) Vice President Tony Bartone.

“It’s provided free as part of the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and there’s a reason for that – because of its importance, because of the significant clinical importance that it poses in terms of prevention of risk of unnecessary morbidity,” he tells AJP.

“It goes a long way to protecting mum and bub.”

Sanofi Pasteur, the manufacturer of FluQuadri, says pregnant women should listen to their healthcare practitioner rather than information online when making a decision about flu vaccination.

“Sanofi supports the statements already made by the Australian Medical Association on this topic in that vaccines are subject to extensive safety testing,” says a Sanofi spokesperson.

“In relation to influenza vaccination in pregnancy, this has been studied in randomised controlled trials in the US and other countries.

“We would encourage women who are pregnant to speak with their healthcare practitioner about necessary immunisations and hear that advice rather than incorrect or unfounded information online.”

PSA National President Shane Jackson agrees that vaccination is imperative for people at high risk of influenza-related complications, which includes pregnant women.

“From our perspective, you look at the people who are at high risk of catching influenza. This includes people with risk factors of chronic disease, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as pregnant women – they’re a high-risk category for influenza and the consequences of influenza,” he tells AJP.

“We encourage people at high risk to be vaccinated for influenza. They might be eligible for a free vaccine under the NIP, but they can also have it in a pharmacy setting as well.

“Let’s try and get everyone vaccinated, even those not eligible for the NIP, as it just lifts that herd immunity… and to not listen to the anti-vaxxers!”

Dr Jackson says the PSA branches are pushing for their states to extend community pharmacy access to the NIP, as is the case in Victoria.

“We are encouraging state departments to follow the lead of Victoria and provide the NIP vaccine to NIP-eligible patients through the pharmacy setting, so these patients have access through multiple sources.

“It’s all about having the availability and access across a variety of settings.”

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  1. Ron Batagol

    Ignore the anti-vaxxers! It’sa a no-brainer. Flu vaccine recommended for pregnant women and is an essential protection mechanism!
    Ron Batagol,
    Pharmacikst and Obstetric Medicines Consultant

  2. Alison Claxton

    Oh Look! Just underneath the statement that “There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women” (at the time of PI production), there follows:
    ” Data from worldwide use of inactivated influenza vaccines in pregnant women and experience of use of TIV in countries where inactivated influenza vaccines are recommended in all stages of pregnancy do not indicate any adverse fetal and maternal outcomes attributable to the vaccine. FluQuadri should be given to a pregnant woman following an assessment of the risks and benefits. Health authorities recommend vaccination of pregnant women.

    Healthcare providers are encouraged to enrol women who receive FluQuadri during pregnancy in Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccination pregnancy registry by calling 1800 829 468 (in Australia) or 0800 727 838 (in New Zealand). Sanofi Pasteur is maintaining a prospective pregnancy exposure registry to collect data on pregnancy outcomes and newborn health status following vaccination with FluQuadri during pregnancy”
    (Interesting to see a manufacturer actually collecting pregnancy data)
    Selective use of only part of the information, and conveniently leaving out what is already known to be true…

    • Jarrod McMaugh

      You realise you’re expecting unreasonable illogical people to be reasonable & logical when you point out that they shouldn’t be selective in the information they use for scaremongering……

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