Medical school offering H1N1 vaccine to pregnant women

The virus has already caused expectant mothers in Hawai‘i to become critically ill with pneumonia

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Contact:
Posted: Dec 10, 2009

Dr. Tod Aeby with Hawaii State Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino, at a media news conference at DOH
Dr. Tod Aeby with Hawaii State Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino, at a media news conference at DOH
The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) has a supply of H1N1 vaccine available by appointment for pregnant women on O’ahu.
 
Expectant mothers are at an elevated risk for experiencing complications from the H1N1 flu. According to JABSOM physicians, there have been several cases in Hawai‘i serious enough to require treatment in the intensive care unit.
 
“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. “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.”
 
The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has joined the medical school in advising pregnant women to get the H1N1 vaccine. Dr. Aeby said an expectant mother can receive the vaccine from the earliest stages of pregnancy until just before delivery.
 
“We’re not only vaccinating women who are pregnant, but we’re vaccinating people leaving the hospital, because we can’t vaccinate the baby at birth,” explained Dr. Aeby. “We are vaccinating mom to keep her from getting the H1N1 and giving it to her baby.”
 
Women can get the vaccine through the University of Hawai‘i medical school by filling out a request form available on-line at:
 
If the mother has health insurance with HMSA, the cost will be free. Otherwise, at most, the school said, the charge would be $7.00.
 
To receive the vaccine, a woman should fill out the form available on the website, and fax or mail it to the JABSOM OB/GYN department. Once JABSOM receives the form, they will contact applicants to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine.
 
Send the completed registration by fax or mail to:
University Women's Health Specialists
Kapi’olani Medical Center
1319 Punahou Street, Suite 800-801
Honolulu, HI 96826
Attention: Wendy Yamamoto
Fax: (808) 218-7949
 
The clinic locations where women will be directed to go to get the vaccine once their appointment has been scheduled with the OB/GYN Department include:
  • University Women's Health Specialists
    Kapi’olani Medical Center
    1319 Punahou Street, Suite 990, and Suite 800-801
    Honolulu, HI 96826
     
  • University Women's Health Specialists
    The Queen’s Physicians Office Building Three
    550 Beretania Street, Suite 610
    Honolulu, HI 96813
     
  • University Women's Health Specialists
    94-235 Hanawai Circle, Suite 1B
    Waipahu, HI 96797
The medical school emphasized that women should apply for the vaccine, then wait for the clinics to call them to schedule the appointment, rather than just appear at the clinics unannounced. JABSOM said its staff members are scheduling appointments very quickly after receiving the form.