University of Hawaii offering H1N1 vaccines to pregnant women - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

University of Hawaii offering H1N1 vaccines to pregnant women

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Dr. Tod Aeby Dr. Tod Aeby

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) is now offering H1N1 vaccines to pregnant women on Oahu.

Expectant mothers are at higher risk for complications from the H1N1. Already, some cases in Hawaii have been serious enough to require treatment in the intensive care unit. Since they are supposed to take the injectable vaccine only, that has been difficult to find.

"We've had several pregnant women in the Intensive Care Unit on a respirator," said Dr. Tod Aeby, Chief of the Generalist Division in JABSOM's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health, in a statement.

"That is a problem for both the mother who is struggling to breathe and for the baby, because the baby depends on the mother's lungs to breathe."

"In the cases that we've had, the babies managed to do well, but we were worried about them the whole time," said Dr. Aeby, who, like most JABSOM faculty, is a practicing physician as well as an assistant professor. "There are several cases on the Mainland of (cases) that didn't go well at all."

Mothers with HMSA health insurance can get the vaccine for free. Everyone else will pay $7.00.