Medical school offers flu vaccine to moms-to-be

December 10th, 2009  |  by  |  Published in Campus News

Drs. Tod Abey and Chiyome Fukino at news conference

JABSOM’s Tod Abey with Hawaiʻi state Health Director (and UH alumna) Chiyome Fukino at news conference

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine is making the H1N1 vaccine available by appointment for pregnant women on Oʻahu.

Expectant mothers are at an elevated risk for experiencing complications from the H1N1 flu, notes Tod Aeby, chief of the Generalist Division in JABSOM’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health.

“We’ve had several pregnant women in the Intensive Care Unit on a respirator,” he says. “That is a problem for both the mother, who is struggling to breathe, and for the baby,” who depends on the mother’s lungs for oxygen.

The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health joined the medical school in a recent call advising pregnant women to get the H1N1 vaccine.

An expectant mother can receive the vaccine from the earliest stages of pregnancy until just before delivery, Aeby says. New mothers can be vaccinated before leaving the hospital so they won’t get sick and pass the virus to their babies.

To obtain the vaccine through the UH medical school, complete the online request form and fax to the number indicated or mail to University Women’s Health Specialists, Kapiʻolani Medical Center, 1319 Punahou St. Suite 800–801, Honolulu, HI 96826, Attention: Wendy Yamamoto.

Women will be contacted to make an appointment at JABSOM clinics in Honolulu or Waipahu. Cost is free with HMSA insurance or no more than $7 without.

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