Area students to receive flu shots at school

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Parents giving permission for flu shots should complete the front and back of the consent form, providing both medical/demographic information and insurance information if that applies, and return to your child's school as soon as possible.

Health officials say there is no reason to change the government recommendation that all pregnant women be vaccinated against the flu.

Health officials say they understand that the information may be of concern to pregnant women.

The Center for Disease Control, which funded the study, said that it was only a possible link and would need to be studied over multiple flu seasons.

"I want the CDC and researchers to continue to investigate this", said Dr. Laura Riley, a Boston obstetrician who heads a committee on maternal immunization.

"Influenza vaccination is an essential element of prenatal care because pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness and mortality due to influenza", ACOG said in a statement.

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The CDC is clear in its guidelines that pregnant women in any trimester of their pregnancies should get the flu vaccine.

Flu and the complications from it kill thousands each year in the USA with young children, the elderly and pregnant women under additional risk.

Some of the study authors are conducting a larger study with more recent data to determine if a possible connection between swine flu vaccine and miscarriage can be confirmed, according to study author James Donahue, of the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute in Minnesota. "The association was significant only among women vaccinated in the previous influenza season" with a shot that included protection against the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic that killed more than 18,000 people around the world. Just four of a comparable 485 healthy pregnancies involved women who were vaccinated that way.

The researchers from the study attempted to make adjustments to the statistics to level some of the difference out, but some researchers do not think there was success.

"Generally they're very good at guessing which strains are going to cause it and those are the strains they put into the flu shot", said Ripperda. And the authors said they couldn't rule out the possibility that exposure to swine flu itself was a factor in some miscarriages.

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