Dr Richard Halvorsen

offering vaccine choice

Whooping cough vaccine given in pregnancy may cause autism in baby.

Research on nearly two hundred thousand children born in California between 2000 and 2010 suggests that children born to mothers who were given a flu jab in pregnancy may be at increased risk of developing autism. In particular the risk of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in children whose mothers received a flu jab in the first trimester (the first three months) of pregnancy was increased by 20%. This translates into one additional child with ASD for every 250 mothers vaccinated. As all women are encouraged to have the flu vaccine during pregnancy, with the NHS advising that the jab is safe when given at any stage off pregnancy, it is possible that many children are developing ASD as a result. More research needs to be done urgently and in the meantime, all pregnant women should be warned of this risk and, if they choose to have the flu vaccine, should be advised not to have it until later in pregnancy.