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Flu Vaccine and Pregnancy: A Dangerous Practice

The American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) released a Committee Opinion detailing their views on the influenza vaccine during pregnancy. (1)   In this paper, ACOG states, “Influenza vaccination is an essential element of preconception, prenatal, and postpartum care because pregnant women are at an increased risk of serious illness due to seasonal and pandemic influenza. It is particularly important that women who are or will be pregnant during influenza season receive an inactivated influenza vaccine as soon as it is available. It is imperative that obstetrician-gynecologists, other health care providers, health care organizations, and public health officials continue efforts to improve the rate of influenza vaccination among pregnant women.”

Now, you would think that a strong statement like that would be backed up by data that the flu vaccine is both safe and effective for pregnant women. However, the truth is just the opposite: The flu vaccine has not been properly studied in pregnant women nor has it shown to be very effective at preventing the flu in anyone.

Most flu vaccines are preserved with mercury in the form of thimerosal. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances known to mankind and is a potent neurotoxin. In the Committee Opinion paper, ACOG states,”…there is no scientific basis that thimerosal-free formulations of the influenza vaccine cause adverse effects in children born to women who received vaccines with thimerosal.”

I am not sure what to say here. Animal studies have clearly shown that mercury from thimerosal crosses the blood-brain barrier and becomes highly incorporated in the brains of rabbits, as well as their fetuses. (2) There are many other peer-reviewed studies which have shown thimerosal harms animal fetuses. One of the reasons ACOG states that “there is no scientific basis that thimerosal-free formulations of the influenza vaccine cause adverse effects in children” is that there have been no studies done that confirm that thimerosal injected into pregnant women causes harm to the fetus. On the other hand, there are no studies that show that it is safe to inject thimerosal into pregnant women.

Common sense would dictate that it is probably not wise to inject one of the most toxic substances known to mankind into pregnant women. I don’t think we need any randomized, double-blind studies which assess the effects of mercury injections into pregnant women.

And, most importantly, before ACOG recommends flu injections for all pregnant women, don’t you think there should be at least one good study which shows that the flu vaccine is safe and effective for pregnant women?  However, that would be too simple. Here’s the truth: The flu vaccine has not been properly studied in pregnant women. In fact, in the package insert for the FluLaval quadrivalent vaccine it states, “There are … no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women and FluLaval quadrivalent should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.”

Unfortunately, mercury is not the only substance found in a toxic flu vaccine. Many flu (and other vaccines) contain the carcinogen formaldehyde. Needless to say, there have been no studies showing it is safe and effective to inject a known carcinogen into a pregnant women or any other living being.

What’s the bottom line? I was taught in my training that when considering a pregnant patient, it is best to err on the side of caution. Common sense would dictate that no pregnant women should ever be injected with mercury. In fact, I would extend that statement that no living being should ever be injected with mercury.

I don’t think you need an advanced degree to come to those conclusions. You only need common sense which seems to be lacking in the Committee Opinion paper by ACOG.

I have written a much longer article about this topic in the December, 2014 issue of my monthly Newsmax newsletter, Dr. Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health. For more information about my newsletter, please click here:


  1. Committee Opinion. Number 608. September, 2014. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  2. Arch. Of Opth. 1975:93:52-55
Author Info

David Brownstein

Comments ( 5 )

  • Author Icon

    Thank you for this information. I was asked if I wanted to have the flu vaccine to protect me and my baby from flu, today at my first appointment with my midwife. My response was no, however my partner was unsure. So I came home and read your article and my gut feeling was correct. Thank you for posting this information.

  • Author Icon

    I’d love to hear your thoughts, Dr. Brownstein, on influenza vaccination in general. I am an oncology nurse that continues to refuse vaccination every year based on the same logic you provide above that they contain mercury preservatives. Beyond that it really concerns me that the long-term effects of vaccination really haven’t been studied. After researching the adverse reactions, I noticed they are almost all autoimmune and neurodegenerative in nature. So far I haven’t heard many positions on vaccination from integrative / functional medicine physicians and since you have a blog on it I thought I’d ask. Many thanks.

    PS Please feel free to email me with your reply.

    • Author Icon
      David Brownstein

      I have multiple articles on the flu vaccine both in my newsletters and in my blog posts. Simply search the blog search button (note: don’t search the site search button–just the blog one).

  • Author Icon

    Thank you for this blog post. I am 37 weeks pregnant, having a host of complications, and being treated like some kind of crazy at my OB for outright refusing the flu vaccine. Same thing happened with my last pregnancy, which happened during the swine flu scare. I refused the H1N1 vaccine on the principle that not enough was known about it then. How could anyone reassure me that my baby would be born defect-free when the vaccine had just came out. This time around they gave me the information sheet about this years vaccine and I refused once again! Who’s to say that when my daughter reaches maturity that the only 5 year old strain contained in this vaccine causes some strange condition? No one! When I said that the resident who was seeing me that day said “Well, it’s been out a while.” Ummm…5 years is a drop in the bucket. Sorry for a ramble, but it just gets me fired up that some doctors are basically turning in to pushers for these damn vaccines! Enough so that they treat a patient like they are stupid for disagreeing with them!

  • Author Icon

    I find it interesting that a general rule of thumb for a veterinarian is not to routinely vaccinate a pregnant pet (dog or cat), if it can be avoided. And yet, the ACOG is pushing the flu shot for pregnant women (?) As you’ve said, common sense is not so common.
    The pharmaceutical companies are changing their tactics and “sales pitch” since many people are now questioning or researching ingredients.
    The health system that I used to work for made it mandatory that all employees receive the flu shot. Last year, they were excited to offer Flublok, since the literature stated it did not contain any preservatives (i.e., thimerosal), antibiotics, egg proteins or latex.
    However, when I did additional research on Flublok, I learned that it contained polysorbate 20 which is a surfactant used as a detergent and emulsifier.
    I then learned that polysorbate 20 is treated with ethylene oxide – – 20 parts of ethylene oxide. When any ingredient is treated with ethylene oxide, it can then become contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a potentially dangerous by-product and a known animal carcinogen.
    How come so many physicians don’t teach their patients how to keep their immune system boosted, like you do?

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