calendar graphic depicting a flu shot appointment as a reminder to schedule your flu vaccine

Flu Vaccine: Is is recommended in pregnancy?

By: Vinita Alexander, MD

Flu Season is here!

The rates of flu often begin to increase in October and usually peak between December and February.

To protect yourself: wash your hands, cover your cough, and GET VACCINATED, if not already. Ideally one should attempt to be vaccinated before the end of October.

If you are trying to conceive or are in early pregnancy, you can protect yourself with the flu vaccine.

DID YOU KNOW:

-Changes in the body during pregnancy and changes in lung volume in pregnancy make pregnant women more susceptible to becoming sicker from the flu!

– Flu can also impact a developing fetus. (Fever can be associated with neural tube defects)

– The flu vaccine is safe in pregnancy and in patients trying to conceive

– There is no link between the flu shot and pregnancy loss.

– The flu vaccine is safe for both men and women undergoing fertility treatments and can be given any time before or during pregnancy.

– The flu shot is recommended each year. This is because the virus mutates, so the vaccine is reformulated every year to target the three strains most likely to circulate this flu season.

GET YOUR FLU SHOT for these benefits:

– Reduce your risk of being hospitalized by 40%

– Help protect your baby in early life in pregnancy (by passing protective antibodies on)

– Protect your young baby from the virus right after delivery, too, when they are too young to get the vaccine.

NOTES: The injectible flu vaccine IS recommended in pregnancy. The Quadrivalent nasal spray is made from a live virus and is NOT recommended in pregnant women or those trying to conceive.

For additional information please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/vaccination-possible-safety-signal.html