While the study results do not necessarily provide any definitive proof, the connection is evident enough that analysts are puzzling over the results. For example, it is a little early to say, for certain, that the vaccine was the cause for these miscarriages, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caution the facts are, at the very least, troubling.
According to US CDC senior advisor for vaccines, Amanda Cohn, “I think it’s really important for women to understand that this is a possible link, and it is a possible link that needs to be studied and needs to be looked at over more [flu] seasons.”
She goes on to say, “We need to understand if it’s the flu vaccine, or is this a group of women [who received flu vaccines] who were also more likely to have miscarriages.”
Of course, health officials are now submitting that this is simply a concern for now and that pregnant women should consult with their health-care provider to pursue the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the study, especially those pregnant women who would like to get a flu shot.
And it is important to remember that the CDC, the American College of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the study authors are all still recommending that pregnant women get the flu vaccine to protect their unborn babies, regardless of the stage of pregnancy. The study suggests, though, that perhaps there may be a better trimester for the flu vaccine, particularly if you are to receive that specific type.
According to Marshfield Clinic Research Institute senior epidemiologist Edward Belongia, “Science is an incremental process, and a lot of people don’t understand that very seldom does a single study provide a definitive answer that can lead to changes in recommendations.”
He also attests, “This study does not and cannot establish a causal relationship between repeated influenza vaccination and (miscarriage) but further research is warranted.”
For example an earlier study of similar parameters—and from the same team, no less—found no evidence whatsoever that links vaccines with miscarriage.
As such, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School obstetrician, Dr. Laura Riley, notes, “We don’t want people to panic over this headline. Get your flu shot. It’s safe.”