Benefits Of Immunization In Pregnancy For The Mother
Vaccines recommended for the protection of a pregnant woman’s health include:
- inactivated influenza vaccine
- acellular pertussis vaccine
- hepatitis B vaccine if susceptible and with ongoing exposure risks
- hepatitis A vaccine if a close contact of a person with hepatitis A or if travelling to an endemic area
- meningococcal vaccine in an outbreak setting or post-exposure, or if indicated by medical condition
- pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine with or without conjugate vaccine if indicated by medical condition
- any other inactivated vaccine if indicated by exposure , travel or by medical condition .
Immunization Of Breastfeeding Women
In general, routinely recommended vaccines can be safely administered to breastfeeding women. There are limited data available regarding the effects of immunization of breastfeeding women on their infants however, there have been no reported adverse events related to administration of routine vaccines. There is no evidence that immunization during breastfeeding will adversely influence the maternal or infant immune response.
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended during breastfeeding if not given during that pregnancy. Women who are breastfeeding should be vaccinated with Tdap, Td, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, HPV, pneumococcal, meningococcal, Hib, IPV, rabies, inactivated typhoid, MMR, varicella and cholera-traveler’s diarrhea vaccines if indicated.
It is not known whether LZV virus is secreted in human milk. Given the age indication for HZ vaccines , breastfeeding women are unlikely to be among the target population.
Japanese encephalitis vaccine has not been studied in breastfeeding. It is an inactivated vaccine and there is no theoretical reason to suspect increased risk of adverse effects in the mother or infants. Breastfeeding women who must travel to areas where the risk of JE infection is high should be immunized if the risk of disease outweighs the unknown risk of vaccination to the woman and her breastfeeding infant.
How The Influenza Vaccine Works
The influenza viruses change every year because the influenza virus has a unique ability to change its surface structure. This means that even if you had the flu or an immunisation one year, your bodys immune system might be unable to fight the changed version of the virus that will be circulating the following year.
Each year, a new vaccine is developed and is available for those who wish to be immunised. The seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against four strains of influenza viruses.
The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu because it does not contain live virus. Some people may still contract the flu because the vaccine may not always protect against all strains of the influenza virus circulating in the community.
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How Can A Breastfeeding Mother With Flu Protect Her Infant From Getting Sick
A mother with flu should take precautions to avoid spreading flu to her infant because infants are at high-risk of serious flu-related complications. These precautions are especially important for infants younger than 6 months of age because they cannot be vaccinated against influenza viruses. Mothers with flu should thoroughly wash and dry their hands with soap and water before touching the infant or any item that the infant will touch and anytime they sneeze or cough on their hands.
Breast milk remains the best source of nutrition for the infant, and provides protection from infections through antibodies and other immunological factors. If a mother is too sick to feed her infant at the breast, if possible, expressed breast milk should be fed to the infant by a healthy caregiver who does not have flu. Whenever a mother expresses her breast milk, she should wash her hands well with soap and water and, if using a pump, follow recommendations for proper cleaning.
Summary Of Use During Lactation
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several health professional organizations state that vaccines given to a nursing mother do not affect the safety of breastfeeding for mothers or infants and that breastfeeding is not a contraindication to either the live, attenuated or inactivated influenza vaccine, including H1N1 influenza vaccine. Immunization of the mother during pregnancy increases the amount of influenza antibodies in breastmilk and may offer added protection of their breastfed infants against influenza. Breastmilk antibody responses are higher with the inactivated influenza vaccine than with the live oral vaccine. Breastfed infants should be vaccinated according to the routine recommended schedules.
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Should I Get A Flu Shot If I Am Breastfeeding
Every person 6 months of age and older, who has not had a serious reaction to the flu shot in the past, should be vaccinated each flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . The flu shot reduces your risk of getting sick with the flu by 40 to 60 percent or more, and reduces the severity of flu if you do get sick. It also reduces your child’s risk of flu-related illness.
Babies under the age of 6 months cannot be given the flu shot directly. Even after they start receiving flu shots, their protection is incomplete until they have two shots approximately 28 days apart. It generally takes about two weeks after the second shot for babies to acquire maximum protection.
According to the Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University, a breastfeeding mother who has been vaccinated with the flu vaccine will transfer antibodies to her baby through her milk, giving her newborn some protection from the flu virus.
Cocooningensuring that parents, siblings, grandparents, and other caregivers have received a flu shot during the current flu season can help protect your baby from the flu until he is old enough to be vaccinated.
For more information about the flu and the flu vaccine, .
When Should I Get A Flu Shot During Pregnancy
Flu season can last from as early as October until as late as May. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot as early in each flu season as possible so youre protected from the start.
But its never too late to get immunized. So if you havent yet been vaccinated against the flu, go now! And remember: The vaccine is updated yearly, and immunity wanes with time so even if you got the flu shot last year, you need to get one again this season.
What Side Effects Have Pregnant People Experienced From Flu Shots
The most common side effects experienced by pregnant people are the same as those experienced by other people. They are generally mild and include:
- Soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot
If side effects occur, they usually begin soon after the shot is given and generally last for 1-2 days.
A flu shot, like other injections, can occasionally cause fainting. Rarely, flu shots can cause serious problems like severe allergic reactions. Anyone with a severe, life-threatening allergy to any of the vaccine ingredients should not get the shot.
Flu Vaccine Safety And Pregnancy
Questions & Answers
Note: There is no recommendation that pregnant people or people with pre-existing medical conditions need to get special permission or written consent from their doctor or health care professional for influenza vaccination if they get vaccinated at a worksite clinic, pharmacy, or other location outside of their physicians office. Pregnant people should not get nasal spray vaccine. For more information, visit Misconceptions about Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines.
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Can A Breastfeeding Person Get A Flu Vaccine
Yes. People who are breastfeeding should get a flu vaccine to protect themselves from flu. Getting vaccinated reduces pregnant parents risk of getting sick and of passing the flu on to their babies, thus protecting their babies from flu also. This is especially important for children younger than 6 months old since they are too young to receive flu vaccine themselves.
What Is A Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is an injection or nasal spray that can help you avoid getting the flu. The influenza vaccination can also help to prevent the spread of the flu in your community. Since the types of active flu viruses can change each year, the flu vaccine may also change from year to year to fight these different versions. Therefore, it is recommended that you get the new flu vaccine every year. There are two types of flu vaccines:
Since the nasal spray vaccine is a live virus, it cannot be given to everyone. The nasal FluMist should NOT be given to those who are:
- Under the age of two.
- Over the age of 50.
- Have a compromised immune system.
- Have other medical conditions that can put them at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu.
Instead, talk to your doctor and opt for the flu shot.
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Common Questions About Vaccination During Pregnancy
Scientific studies to date have shown no safety concerns for babies born to people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 during pregnancy.1-4, 6 Based on how these vaccines work in the body, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk for long-term health effects. CDC continues to monitor, analyze, and disseminate information from people vaccinated during all trimesters of pregnancy to better understand effects on pregnancy and babies.
CDC and professional medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, recommend COVID-19 vaccination at any point in pregnancy, as well as booster doses for those eligible. COVID-19 vaccination can protect you from getting very sick from COVID-19, and keeping you as healthy as possible during pregnancy is important for the health of your baby.
You can choose which COVID-19 vaccine to get. Talk to your healthcare provider and learn which vaccines are available by age and how to stay up to date.
Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome is a rare but serious adverse event that causes blood clots in large blood vessels and low platelets and is associated with the J& J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine recipients must be informed of the risks and benefits of J& J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccination. The J& J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations, including for persons who
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How Do I Get The Flu Vaccine
Contact your midwife or GP surgery to find out where you can get the flu vaccine. It’s a good idea to get vaccinated as soon as possible after the vaccine becomes available in September.
In some areas, midwives can give the flu vaccine at the antenatal clinic. In others, you will need an appointment at a GP surgery.
Some community pharmacies now offer the flu vaccine on the NHS.
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Infographic Vaccination For Women Who Are Planning Pregnancy Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Recommendations for vaccination for women who are planning pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding
Planning pregnancy make sure women who are planning pregnancy are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.
- Check immunisation history and give any missed vaccines. If uncertain history of vaccination or disease, check serology for these diseases and vaccinate if needed: hepatitis B, measles, varicella , rubella.
- Give seasonal influenza vaccine if available and if not already given this year.
- Give extra vaccines, such as pneumococcal or meningococcal vaccines, to those medically at risk.
- Avoid pregnancy within 28 days of receiving a live vaccine.
During pregnancy recommended vaccinations during pregnancy protect both the mother and the baby.
- Give seasonal influenza vaccine at any time during influenza season, if not already received.
- Give pertussis-containing vaccine early in the 3rd trimester .
- Give non-live vaccines only if needed and if the benefits outweigh the risks.
- Do not give live vaccines. If inadvertently given, seek expert advice.
Breastfeeding breastfeeding women can safely receive most vaccines.
- Give seasonal influenza vaccine if not already given this year.
- Give other vaccines as needed.
- Give yellow fever vaccine only if needed, and if the benefits outweigh the risks.
See the Australian Immunisation Handbook for more details.
A Flu Vaccine Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Getting an influenza vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. Pregnant people should get a flu shot and not the nasal spray flu vaccine. Flu shots given during pregnancy help protect both the pregnant parent and the baby from flu. Vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant people by up to one-half. A 2018 studyexternal icon showed that getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant persons risk of being hospitalized with flu by an average of 40 percent. Pregnant people who get a flu vaccine also are helping to protect their babies from flu illness for the first several months after their birth, when they are too young to get vaccinated. A list of recent studies on the benefits of flu vaccination for pregnant people is available.
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Who Should Be Immunised Against Influenza
Immunisation against the flu is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over.
Some people are more at risk of complications from the flu and are eligible for free vaccination.
People with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity are most at risk and should be immunised against the flu. They include:
- anyone aged 65 years and older
- pregnant women
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from 6 months and over
- people 6 months or older with:
Speak to your immunisation provider to see if you are eligible for a free flu vaccine.
Concerns About Side Effects
If the side effects following immunisation are unexpected, persistent, or severe, or if you are worried about yourself or your childs condition after a vaccination, see your doctor or immunisation nurse as soon as possible or go directly to a hospital.
Immunisation side effects may be reported to SAEFVIC, the central vaccine reporting service in Victoria on .
You can discuss how to report problems in other states or territories with your immunisation provider.
Should My Child Get A Flu Shot
Yes. All children over 6 months old should get a flu shot each year.
Babies and children 6 months to 9 years of age who have never had a flu shot will need 2 doses of the vaccine, given at least 4 weeks apart.
Those who have had one or more doses of the regular seasonal flu shot in the past, or children 9 years of age and older, will only need 1 dose per year.
The vaccine is especially important for children and youth who are at high risk of complications from the flu, including those who:
- are between 6 months and 5 years of age.
- have chronic heart or lung disorders serious enough to need regular medical follow-up.
- have chronic conditions that weaken the immune system, such as immune deficiencies, cancer, HIV or a treatment that causes immune suppression.
- have diabetes or other metabolic diseases.
- have chronic kidney disease.
- have to take acetylsalicylic acid on a daily basis.
- live in a chronic care facility.
- live in First Nation or Inuit communities.
- live with another child or adult who is at risk of complications from the flu.
Children under 5 years old are at higher risk of complications from the flu such as high fever, convulsions and pneumonia. If you have children younger than 5 years old or who have health complications, everyone living in the house should get a flu shot. This is especially important if you have children under 6 months old or if a member of your household is pregnant.
Is The Flu Vaccine Safe For Breastfeeding Mothers And Their Infants
Yes. Flu vaccination is safe for breastfeeding women and their infants aged 6 months and older. In fact, women who get the flu vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding develop antibodies against flu that they can share with their infants through their breast milk. Breastfeeding can provide some protection against flu for infants, including children younger than 6 months who cannot receive the flu vaccine. Annual flu vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older , and is particularly important for pregnant women. Additionally, to protect children younger than 6 months of age from flu, persons around the infant should receive the flu vaccination.
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Are There Special Considerations For Mothers With Flu In Peri
Yes. Newborns infected with influenza viruses are at increased risk for severe complications, including death. CDC has specific recommendations that apply to mothers who have flu and their newborns in the hospital setting at the time of birth. Visit Guidance for the Prevention and Control of Influenza in the Peri- and Postpartum Settings for more information.
If direct breastfeeding is interrupted due to temporary separation of mother and child, the breastfeeding mother should be encouraged and supported to regularly express her milk so that the infant continues to receive her breast milk. A breastfeeding mother with flu may need access to a hospital-grade pump and additional lactation support while in the hospital and after discharge to maintain her milk supply and reduce the possibility of developing a breast infection. Prior to expressing breast milk, mothers should wash their hands well with soap and water and, if using a pump, follow recommendations for proper cleaning. If a mother is expressing breast milk, the expressed breast milk should be fed to the infant by a healthy caregiver who does not have flu, if possible.