Expectant mothers and parents with children under five are being advised to avoid crowds and unnecessary travel to reduce the risk of swine flu.Quote has been trimmed
The government guidance is being re-issued after a woman with the virus died shortly after giving birth.
Meanwhile the National Childbirth Trust has been accused of "scaremongering" for suggesting women delay pregnancy.
The Royal College of General Practitioners told the Observer it was a "disproportionate reaction".
Alan Johnson, the former health secretary, agreed it was an "overreaction" to say women should not have babies at this time.
Concern over the effects of swine flu on new and expectant mothers has heightened since the death of Ruptara Miah, 39, in London's Whipps Cross Hospital on 13 July. Her baby is said to be very ill in intensive care.
Another child under six months old, who died in London, is also among the latest victims of the virus.
The re-issued Department of Health advice, to be collated and published on the NHS website later on Sunday, is based on recommendations given out by the Royal College of Midwives.
Twenty-nine people have now died in the UK after contracting swine flu - 26 in England and three in Scotland.Hardly pandemic levels, so why the big push for mandatory vaccines that have yet to be tested .
Obama plans for nationwide swine flu vaccine
The Obama administration announced last week (external - login to view) its plans to implement a $350 million nationwide vaccine campaign for the H1N1 virus. At the G8 summit in Italy, the president stated, "I think it's clear that although we were fortunate not to see a more serious situation in the spring when we first got news of this outbreak, the potential for a significant outbreak in the fall is looming". He emphasized that he wanted the US to be prepared, not panicked. However, the WHO also announced this week it has stopped tracking swine flu cases as they have become too numerous worldwide.
While the administration claims it does not want to create a state of panic, that, unfortunately is often the product of campaigns which underscore "looming" dangers as the president did at the G8 summit. The government has already spent around $1 billion on flu vaccines and is planning on purchasing additional drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza to combat the "pandemic".
Clinical trials for the H1N1 flu vaccine are still underway, and not expected to be finished until the fall. This brings up another point of concern: will these vaccines be government mandated as some have been in the past? According to the CRS Report for Congress (external - login to view) on mandatory vaccines, in the state of Florida, for example, state officials may order individuals to be vaccinated for diseases which present a severe danger to public health, and when there is a health emergency. (Fla. Stat. 381.00315)
There has been debate over whether such mandates are constitutional, and whether or not they violate a patient's right to informed consent. On one side of the debate, there are those who feel that mandatory vaccines are designed to protect the general public, and in most cases, are necessary. On the other side, there are those who feel that forcing individuals to be vaccinated is violating their freedom of choice, and in some cases, even violates religious freedoms. The real issue may well be forced healthcare and the loss of free choice.
No matter which side you take, there are ways to protect yourself. If there is concern that you or your family may become infected by someone who is not vaccinated, the easy answer is to seek out and obtain the vaccine. If you are opposed to vaccines, or cannot receive them for religious reasons, do all that you can now to strengthen your immune system, stay healthy and avoid situations where you or your family members may become exposed. No matter which side you take, it is important to be respectful of others' views. We must remember the principles our country was founded on, lest we forget the liberties afforded to all Americans.
Obama plans for nationwide swine flu vaccine (external - login to view)