Clinical trials continue at St. Louis University's Doisy Research Center but there's still a slight shortage of volunteers from one of the key groups... pregnant women.
I was at the research center Thursday to talk to Erin Mahoney who's 5 months pregnant. She told me despite some raised eyebrows from friends and family about her taking part in a clinical trial, she didn't believe participating would risk her health. Just the opposite, it would maintain it.
"I've seen in the media about the deaths of women who contracted the virus and also women who are pregnant who contract the virus have longer recovery times," Erin told me moments after getting the shot.
Researchers are testing proper dosage for pregnant women. They haven't figured out yet if the normal adult dose is strong enough for pregnant women. They hope it is. That way more of the vaccine will be available to everyone else.
The director of SLU's Center for Vaccine Development, Dr. Robert Belshe told me pregnant women have nothing to fear about getting the shot during clinical trials.
"We think the risks are relatively trivial with sore arms being the most common adverse event with an influenza vaccine," Dr. Belshe told me in the lab.
He says pregnant women are at higher risk of getting H1N1 and complications like pneumonia are more common in pregnant women. The vaccination for mom also protects her child from the flu for about six months after the baby's born.
Pregnant women interested in learning more about participating in this clinical trial can call (314) 977-6333.
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