Pregnant women are advised to get the flu vaccine by their doctor. Because of the changes in body occurring during pregnancy, women are more vulnerable to falling victim to influenza which could, in turn, complicate their pregnancy and result in a preterm or a low birth weight infant. Maternal vaccination not only protects the mother but also protects the infant as the antibodies are passed to the infant through the placenta.
Side Effects From Flu Shot
The side effects from flu shots are usually mild and include the same as experienced by other people:
- Muscle pain
These side effects will manifest soon after getting the shot and may last for a day or two.
If you are known to have a severe allergy to eggs, then inform your physician.
Can a flu vaccine result in miscarriage?
Some studies created an uproar, as they seemed to link flu vaccine with early miscarriages, although it was not very clear whether the miscarriages occurred due to a flu shot.
Research supporting the safety of Flu vaccination during pregnancy
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) corroborates the safety of receiving a flu vaccine, some of them being through the:
- Vaccine Adverse Reporting System: Which found no evidence to suggest a link between pregnancy complications or adverse fetal outcomes among pregnant women and flu shots.
- Vaccine Safety Datalink: It found no increased risk of miscarriage among pregnant women who received flu vaccines during 2005-06 or 2006-07.
- Another study (2013) reported no increased risk for adverse obstetric events in pregnant women who received the flu vaccine from 2002-09.
- A 2017 study reported that the babies of women who had received the flu shot during their pregnancy were not at an increased risk of having children with major congenital disabilities.
Physicians claim there is enough information to support their claim to continue flu vaccinations in pregnant women and urge them to get vaccinated as the benefits far outweigh the risks.
The CDC, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), urge pregnant women to continue getting the flu shot during pregnancy. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that pregnant women must receive the highest priority for influenza vaccination.
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- Flu Vaccine Safety and Pregnancy – Accessed on November 23, 2017 – https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/qa_vacpregnant.htm
- Vaccination During Pregnancy: Today’s Need in India – Accessed on November 23, 2017 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4964703/
- Trends in Influenza Vaccine Coverage in Pregnant Women, 2008 to 2012 – Accessed on November 23, 2017 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662276/
- It is Safe to Receive Flu Shot During Pregnancy – Accessed on November 23, 2017 – https://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/News-Room/Statements/2017/It-is-Safe-to-Receive-Flu-Shot-During-Pregnancy
- Flu (influenza) vaccine in pregnancy – what expectant mothers need to know. Department of Health, Australia. Accessed on 27 Jun 2018. http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/Influenza-vaccine-in-pregnancy-What-expectant-mothers-need-to-know