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November 17, 1962

PHS Replies to Critic of Flu Vaccine Safety During Pregnancy

JAMA. 1962;182(7):50-53. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050460122026

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A consultant to the U.S. Public Health Service disputed published warnings that commercial flu vaccines should not be administered to pregnant women or prospective blood donors with Type O blood.

In a statement released by the PHS Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, Dr. Fred M. Davenport, vicechairman of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Influenza, disagreed with the conclusions of Dr. Georg F. Springer (JAMA, Nov. 3, 1962, advertising page 52).

"My considered opinion," Davenport said, "is that it would not be in the public interest to discontinue vaccination of pregnant women or of blood group O potential donors."

Here is the complete PSH statement:

Rather extensive publicity has been given recently to the findings of Dr. Georg F. Springer and Mr. Harvey Tritel (Immunochemistry Section, William Pepper Laboratory and Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania) indicating that blood group A-like substances could be found in commercially available influenza