Flu Shots for Pregnant Women: Get In Line Early!

Gynos must not be answering the questions correctly. Since the 1950s flu shots have been recommended in pregnancy but vaccination rates for pregnant women have generally been below 15%. Now that the publicity around swine flu has helped to get awareness of the serious nature of this disease it is estimated that vaccination rates have at least doubled to over 30% in the past couple of years, but we can do better!Although a woman can get vaccinated at any point during her pregnancy, and at any point during the flu season or out of season, the maximum benefits are to line the pregnant ones up first and vaccinate them as early in the flu season as possible!The Healthy People 2020 objective wants us to vaccinate at least 80% of pregnant patients. The vaccine has been shown to be safe, effective at preventing flu in pregnant moms, and effective in preventing illness in the infant as your protective antibodies will pass though the placental circulation into the baby.We don't think pregnancy itself causes a woman to be more susceptible to getting the flu, but her pregnancy makes her more likely to become sicker if she does get the flu, and more likely to have a life threatening illness (although this still is statistically rare) So if you are pregnant, or planning to be pregnant, the fu season will be upon us fairly soon. If you get a shot, you are virtually assured of not getting seriously ill. If you get a shot when pregnant, about 60+% of the babies are protected against getting the flu. Talk to your physician now about the importance of getting a flu shot, we hope that you all will see that flu shots are important for pregnant women. 


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