Fear, fueled by rumors, has caused a debate on whether pregnant women should get their flu shots to avoid complications. The answer to this question is a definitive “yes”. Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) currently recommend that all pregnant women receive the yearly influenza vaccine. This recommendation also includes women who might become pregnant during flu season.
The Threat is Not the Shot. It’s the Virus.
Influenza (flu) is a common and widespread viral illness that can become more serious for pregnant women. As a normal result of pregnancy, there are changes in a woman’s lungs that can make her more susceptible to developing influenza-related pneumonia. The flu has also been linked with an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm birth and low birth weight.
Doesn’t the Flu Shot Inject the Flu Virus into the Person Getting it?
The injected influenza vaccine (flu shot) is safe because it contains inactivated flu virus. It is also available in a preservative-free formulation for those who have sensitivities to preservatives or concerns about their effects. It is recommended that pregnant women avoid receiving the flu vaccine in the nasal spray form as it does not contain the inactivated virus.
Since the mother’s antibodies are passed to the baby, the flu vaccine is thought to provide your newborn with protection against influenza for up to 6 months of age.
Getting the flu vaccine is an important step in keeping both you and your baby healthy.
If you are trying to conceive and would like to explore your fertility options as well as what can be harmful to your potential pregnancy, contact the fertility specialists at Island Fertility in Commack, NY at 631.368.4600 to schedule an appointment.