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December 10, 1973

Fetal Risks in Rubella Vaccination

Author Affiliations

Center for Disease Control Atlanta

JAMA. 1973;226(11):1357-1358. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230110045015

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To the Editor.—  We agree with Dr. Kuhr that inadvertent administration of rubella vaccine to pregnant women has resulted in a large number of needless abortions.It is quite apparent that when women of childbearing age are not serologically screened before rubella vaccine is given, many unnecessary situations resulting in therapeutic abortion and fetal wastage occur. At no time have we nor the Public Health Service recommended abortion as a solution to the problem of inadvertent rubella vaccination. We do, however, make a strong plea for prevaccination serological screening to determine first the need for vaccination. If this recommendation were followed, many of the needless abortions could be avoided.The question of teratogenicity of attenuated rubella virus has not yet been answered. It is for this reason that reporting of all cases of inadvertent rubella vaccination of pregnant women must continue.