Vaccines During Pregnancy

Vaccines During Pregnancy
- Jagannath Chatterjee'

This ought to be a subject of horror films. In the days when sanity prevailed pregnancy was out of bounds of medicine (Remember the Thalidomide tragedy?). Only a nutritious diet and exercise in the form of daily chores, and evening walks was recommended.
Things changed when specialists emerged on the scene. Drugs and invasive tests became the norm.
Then came the Tetanus vaccine though it was well known that physicians and delivery staff indulging in unhygienic practices and surgical errors was the primary source of tetanus infections. Then another Tetanus vaccine was added. The general public remained blissfully unaware that tetanus and diptheria toxoids are the best carriers for infertility agents, and that the process of vaccine manufacturing ensures the presence of both animal and human hormones (a fact admitted during the test of an African Tetanus vaccine in an Indian laboratory).
Then, according to drug industry studies, "More scientific (read business) opportunities opened up". They concentrated on the "tiny window of vulnerability" (ah, such concern!) in the first two months of an infant when not many vaccines are given. To ensure the "protection" of the infant more vaccines were recommended during pregnancy. The Influenza and the DTaP vaccine are being given.
Ethicists pointed out the dangers and gently suggested that only those vaccines be given which can benefit both mother and child, and that disease epidemiology ought to be considered; in effect trying to curb the practice. They pointed out that vaccines are never tested in pregnancy as a part of clinical trials and that there are unstudied pathways in which vaccines can harm the fetus. They also point out the adverse events reported after the Influenza vaccine was given to pregnant women. Another concern is the peculiar way the immune system behaves during pregnancy. This sage advice has been rejected. More vaccines Malaria, Zika, GBS and RSV are being readied for administration during pregnancy. Many more (I remember reading a number, 27) are under consideration.
It is being argued that non live virus vaccines cannot pose any danger to the fetus. What is not being discussed is vaccine ingredients. The only concern being studied is the chance of congenital abnormalities - a trend that will not show up readily. It is being shown that incidence of these are not more than "background rates" - meaning they are occurring anyway. What is not being considered is the high rates of still births and premature births; a fact that is today a worldwide concern. What were these rates before the process of vaccinating pregnant women started? Don't even ask that question!
The enormity of this crime merits attention. Activists are crying population control and genocide. On the face of it the accusations tend to stick.