Saturday, September 30, 2023

Is It Safe To Get The Flu Shot While Breastfeeding

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When Should I Get Vaccinated

Is it safe to get the COVID vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. Vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

Keep Practicing Covid Precautions

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, Aargaard explains you would receive the vaccine in the same amount and schedule as others, and youâll manage side effects in a similar manner as well.

âPregnant and lactating women can take acetaminophen â Tylenol â to help with the fever and muscle aches that might come with receiving the vaccine, and it wonât cause harm or lessen the effectiveness of the vaccine,â she says.

Ransom also encourages everyone â especially parents with young babies â to keep practicing their Covid precautions. âHaving the vaccine is great news, and it really is uplifting, but nevertheless weâre also seeing numbers soar,â Ransom says. âWe need to continue to be careful and vigilant, wear a mask, wash our hands, and maintain physical distance, even though weâre all so tired of it.â

While the CDC has updated their mask guidelines to reflect that those who are fully vaccinated can now go without a mask both indoors and out, children under the age of 12 are still not eligible. Whatever feels more comfortable to you is what you should do, and remember that if your baby is under the age of 2, no mask.

Great But Are Vaccines Safe During Pregnancy Too

Not only are the majority of vaccines safe during pregnancy, but the CDC actually recommends that pregnant women receive certain immunizations to help protect themselves and their newborns. This is because pregnant and postpartum women are at a higher risk for illness and health complications, particularly from the flu, than women who are not expecting. Because this increased risk is due to changes that occur in the immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy, it is important to talk to your doctor about when and how to ensure youre your immunizations are current.

Two major vaccinations that the CDC recommends for pregnant women are:

  • Tdap

This vaccine protects newborns from whooping cough, a respiratory infection that causes severe coughing, trouble breathing and can be fatal for babies. Plan to get this vaccine around 27 36 weeks pregnant to allow your body ample time to create antibodies and then pass them to your baby before birth. This will protect your little one as soon as he or she is born, while they are most vulnerable to complications, and until they are old enough to get their own whooping cough vaccination at 2 months old

  • Flu Shot

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If I Decide Not To Get The Shot Am I Putting My Baby At Risk

Dr. Kilpatrick: You’re putting yourself at most risk. You’re also theoretically putting the newborn at risk, because the baby will be born with no flu antibodies, and then the baby has a higher risk of getting the flu.

“If you see your doctor during flu season, make sure to ask for a flu shot, because its the best thing for you and your baby.”

Who Should Get A Flu Shot

Good moods may boost flu shot efficacy for seniors

All persons who are six months of age or older should get the flu vaccine. Also, women who will be pregnant during flu season should get the vaccine. Pregnancy can increase your risk for complications from the flu. It is also safe to get the flu shot while breastfeeding your baby. The flu shot cannot cause your nursing baby to get sick.

There are some people who should ask their doctor before getting the flu shot:

  • People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past
  • People who have an allergy to eggs
  • People who previously developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome within six weeks of getting a flu vaccine
  • Children younger than six months of age

Women who are pregnant during flu season cannot get the nasal spray vaccine.

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Path To Improved Health

You can reduce your risk of catching the flu by washing your hands frequently, which stops the spread of germs. Eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep also play a part in preventing the flu as these habits help boost your immune system.

While you should follow the guidelines above, the best way to avoid getting really sick from the flu is to get the flu vaccine every year. You should get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available each fall. You also can get it any time throughout the flu season . The vaccine is available by shot or by nasal spray .

Vaccines work by exposing your immune system to an inactive form of the flu virus. Your body will build up antibodies to the virus to protect you from getting the flu. The nasal spray vaccine contains active but weakened viruses. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot or the nasal spray vaccine.

The flu vaccine is safe. There are very few side effects. After receiving the flu shot, your arm may be sore for a few days. You may have a low-grade fever, feel tired, or have sore muscles for a short time. If you received the nasal spray vaccine, you may have a runny nose, headache, cough, or sore throat.

What Home Remedies Can You Try To Treat A Cold

One of the most amazing characteristics of human milk is how it adapts. As mother and baby are exposed to bacteria and viruses, breast milk includes antibodies specific to those antigens, as well as disease-fighting substances that help prevent many common illnesses. A mother will pass antibodies to her baby through her milk, which can destroy bacteria in the infants gastrointestinal tract before they have a chance to make the baby sick.

If you are trying to beat your cold naturally, you can try the following home remedies:

  • Steam. For nasal congestion, you can try inhaling steam over a bowl of hot water.
  • Saline drops or nose sprays. These are also cheap and effective for nasal congestion.
  • Water. Since a cold can dehydrate you, aim for at least 10 glasses of water per day.
  • Honey and ginger. These are natural antimicrobial and decongesting agents. Raw honey can be added to ginger tea or consumed as is.
  • Garlic. Garlic contains allicin, which has been proven to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.
  • Chicken broth. Studies show that chicken soup has mild anti-inflammatory effects that may provide relief from upper respiratory infections.

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Safety And Effectiveness Of Covid

Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, although limited, has been growing. It suggests that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy. Below is a brief summary of the growing evidence:

  • COVID-19 vaccines do not cause COVID-19 infection, including in people who are pregnant or their babies. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain live virus and cannot make anyone sick with COVID-19, including people who are pregnant or their babies.
  • Early data on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy are reassuring.
  • Early data from three safety monitoring systems did not find any safety concerns for people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine late in pregnancy or for their babies.1
  • Scientists have not found an increased risk for miscarriage among people who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine just before and during early pregnancy .2,3
  • The monitoring of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is ongoing. CDC will continue to follow people vaccinated during all trimesters of pregnancy to better understand effects on pregnancy and babies.
  • No safety concerns were found in animal studies. Studies in animals receiving a Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnsons Janssen COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy found no safety concerns in pregnant animals or their babies.
  • Risk Of Severe Side Effects From Multiple Tdap Doses

    Pregnancy and the Flu

    CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists consider the benefits of Tdap vaccination in multiple pregnancies to outweigh the theoretical risk for severe hypersensitivity due to administering the tetanus component of the Tdap vaccine more often . Studies found that adults who receive 2 tetanus shots in a short period of time were no more likely than adults getting their first Tdap vaccine to have severe side effects. Manufacturers now make these vaccines with lower doses of the tetanus component than tetanus vaccines in the past. Researchers believe this change likely reduced the risk of severe local reactions.

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    Where Should A Pregnant Person Get Vaccinated

    There are many different options for pregnant people to receive a flu shot, including a health care providers office, at work, a pharmacy, some stores, or a supermarket. All these places give flu vaccines that are licensed and approved for use in the United States. If youve never had a problem when previously receiving a flu vaccine, then there is no reason you cant get a flu vaccine at work or a supermarket.

    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:

  • The flu shot is a form of the inactive flu virus. It is given by injection . Brand names of the flu shot include Fluzone, FluLaval, Flucelvax, Fluvirin, Afluria, and Fluarix.
  • The nasal spray is a live, attenuated version of the flu virus that is given intranasally . The nasal spray is also known as FluMist.
  • 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.
    • Pregnant.
    • 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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    Why Do I Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year

    • A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, a persons immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    6 Reasons You Should Get the Flu Shot
    • Are there any vitamins or supplements I can take to reduce my chances of getting the flu?
    • When is it too late in the year to get the flu vaccine?
    • Should I still get the flu vaccine if Ive already had the flu?
    • What side effects might come with the flu vaccine?
    • Should I get the flu vaccine if Ive ever had a reaction to a flu shot?
    • If I decide not to get the flu vaccine, does that put me at risk for any complications if I later get the flu?

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    Where Can I Get A Flu Shot When I’m Pregnant

    Many OB/GYN practices offer the flu shot to pregnant patients. You can also stop by a flu shot clinic at your local pharmacy or supermarket.

    And since the CDC puts pregnant women at the top of the priority list for getting the flu shot , youll likely head to the front of the line, even if the vaccine is in short supply.

    Keep in mind that youll have to stick with the needle when it comes to your seasonal flu vaccine, since the nasal spray vaccine is not approved for pregnant women.

    Vaccines And Breastfeeding: What Moms Should Know

    Conflicting vaccine information online can be distressing to new parents. Here’s some helpful information to give you the peace of mind.

    One of the questions we hear from many new moms and moms-to-be is whether it is safe to get vaccinated while breastfeeding. Vaccination has been a hot topic in recent years with passionate advocates on both sides. This makes it really easy to find conflicting information and oftentimes leads to even more questions than any real answers. We understand that this can be distressing, so weve compiled some helpful information to give you the peace of mind you deserve during this special time.

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    When Should I Have The Flu Jab

    The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, before flu starts circulating. If you’ve missed this time, you can have the flu vaccine later in the winter although it’s best to get it earlier.

    Do not worry if you find that you’re pregnant later in the flu season you can have the vaccine then if you have not already had it.

    Effects In Breastfed Infants

    Flu Vaccine Information for Pregnant Women and Children

    Limited data indicate that breastfeeding can enhance the response of the infant to certain vaccine antigens.

    In a study of pregnant women who were immunized during the third trimester and breastfed their infants for an average of 14 weeks, their infants had a 36% reduction in respiratory illness with fever, and a 63% reduction in laboratory-confirmed influenza during the first 6 months of life. However, the contribution of breastfeeding compared with passive transfer of maternal antibodies during pregnancy was not determined.

    A prospective, blinded trial in Bangladesh compared outcomes of mothers randomly assigned to receive either trivalent influenza vaccine or pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine in the third trimester of pregnancy and their infants. Influenza-specific IgA levels were higher in the breastmilk of those immunized against influenza than pneumococcus until at least 6 months postpartum. The breastfed infants of influenza-vaccinated mothers had fewer episodes of respiratory illness with fever in the first 6 months postpartum, which was positively correlated with the extent of exclusive breastfeeding.

    A study compared the effects of inactivated influenza vaccine and live attenuated influenza vaccine in nursing mothers who were 28 to 120 days postpartum. The breastfed infants whose mothers received the live attenuated strain had more fussiness than those whose mothers received the inactivated vaccine .

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    Will There Be Flu Along With Covid

    • While its not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, CDC believes its likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever. CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.

    What Are The Benefits Of Flu Vaccination

    There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.

    • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.

    • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working-age adults, and older adults.

    • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.

    • Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.

    • Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    • Flu vaccination also has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.

    • Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.

    • Flu vaccines can be lifesaving in children.

    • Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

    The study finding links to support these findings can be found here:

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    Are Influenza Antiviral Prescription Medications Safe To Use While Mothers Are Breastfeeding Or Providing Expressed Breast Milk To Their Infants

    Yes. While data on the effect of currently recommended influenza antiviral medications during breastfeeding are limited, CDC recommends that postpartum women with suspected or confirmed flu be treated with antiviral medications since they are at high risk of flu complications. For women who are breastfeeding with suspected or confirmed flu, treatment with oral oseltamivir is currently preferred. Available data indicate that oseltamivir is poorly excreted in breast milk. See Table 1. For additional information on medications and lactation, please refer to the Drugs and Lactation Database external icon. For additional general information on flu antiviral medications for healthcare providers, please visit the Influenza Antiviral Drugs website.

    Table 1. Safety of currently recommended prescription influenza antiviral medications while breastfeeding

    Table 1. Safety of currently recommended prescription influenza antiviral medications while breastfeeding
    Prescription antiviral medication

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