Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pregnancy and the Flu Vaccine, 2011-2012 Flu Season

The Centers for Disease Control have released their recommendations for this upcoming flu season (yes, unfortunately it is on it's way!). Again this year, pregnant women are encouraged to receive the flu vaccine, because they and children under 6 months of age are at a higher risk for severe illness. Last year only half of all pregnant women received the flu shot!

Receiving the vacccine decreases the risk of having the flu (influenza) and influenza hospitalizations in pregnant women and in their infants during the first 6 months of age.
If you are concerned regarding the safety of receiving the flu shot, please do discuss with your doctor or midwife, and the Pregnancy Riskline at 1-800-822-2229 is also a very helpful resource.

Ideally, the flu shot is given before the flu season, but it can also be given during the season. It is anticipated that there will be no shortage of vaccine supply this year. The virus strains are the same as last year, but even if you had a shot last year, it is recommended that you receive one again this year because the levels of protective antibodies in your body decline over the course of a year. For more information, such as flu shot recommendations for children, visit http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/748254?src=mp&spon=24.
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