Missouri's pregnant women may have to wait for H1N1 vaccine

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | 9:10 a.m. CDT; updated 11:02 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ST. LOUIS — Many pregnant women in Missouri may have to wait for the H1N1 vaccine shot, though they're supposed to be among the first to get it.

Under Missouri law, pregnant women and children under 3 aren't supposed to receive vaccines with the mercury-based preservative thimerosal.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday that the state so far has received 4,200 doses of preservative-free H1N1 vaccine shots. However, an estimated 60,000 pregnant women live in the state.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccines with thimerosal are safe for pregnant women and their babies.

But bans on the preservative in Missouri and other states are presenting a challenge. Pregnant women cannot get a nasal spray version of the vaccine because it contains live virus.


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