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Flu Vaccination Safety and Pregnancy

Posted Feb 24th, 2012 by Patient Assistance Team

Is it safe to get vaccinated with flu vaccine while pregnant? According to the Mayo Clinic, absolutely.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu shot for anyone who's pregnant during flu season — typically November through January or even later. The only exceptions are women have had a past reaction to flu vaccinations.

Pregnant moms should request receiving an injection form of the vaccine, which is made from an inactive form of the virus, rather than the nasal spray, which is a live strain. The injection is safe for both mom and baby and can even help to protect the baby after birth.

The flu vaccine is such a wise choice for moms-to-be because during pregnancy, the woman’s immune system and her heart and lungs are working overtime.  The Mayo Clinic states that these factors increase the risk not only of getting the flu but of developing serious complications of the flu, such as pneumonia and respiratory distress. In turn, flu complications increase the risk of premature labor, preterm birth and other pregnancy complications. A flu shot can help prevent these potential problems.

If you have specific questions or concerns over the safety of receiving the flu vaccine while pregnant, speak with your obstetrician so that you can make a decision that you feel is best for you and your baby.