What If Youre Not Pregnant Yet Can You Get Pregnant After Your Flu Shot
You absolutely can. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that people who are trying to get pregnant get vaccinated. People who get the flu while pregnant are at a higher risk for serious illness and complications. You will have full protection 2 weeks after immunization. Choose the flu shot instead of the nasal spray vaccine if youre trying to get pregnant soon. The nasal spray contains the live virus and should not be used during pregnancy.
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.
Getting A Flu Shot Is The Best Way To Protect You And Your Baby
Making time to get your flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting yourself against the flu. When you get vaccinated, you reduce your risk and your babys risk of complications from the flu.
What should you do if you think you have the flu? Get treatment for the flu right away. There are medicines to help treat the flu and prevent serious complications. If you need advice, you can call the HealthPartners CareLine at or the Park Nicollet Nurse Line at . Our nurses are there 24/7, and its completely free.
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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.
Why You Should Get The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine can protect your baby from flu until they are 6 months old. It can also prevent you from getting flu and passing it on to your baby.
Dr Maeve Eogan, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, talks about why you should get the flu vaccine if you are pregnant.
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Facts About Flu Vaccination Treatment And Pregnancy
More information on the importance of flu vaccination during pregnancy isavailable.
More information on the safety of flu vaccination is available.
How Can I Protect My Baby Once He Or She Is Born
Breastfeeding protects babies because breast milk passes your antibodies to your baby. The antibodies in breast milk help fight off infection. Studies show that babies who are breastfed do not get as sick and are sick less often than babies who are not breastfed.
If you get the flu, do not stop breastfeeding. Unless directed by your health care provider, continue to nurse your baby while being treated for the flu.
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Other Things To Consider
If you are pregnant and planning to get a flu shot, here is what you can expect:
Common side effects of the flu vaccine during pregnancy are the same as if you werent pregnant. These include arm soreness from the injection, headache, fever, muscle aches and nausea.
The flu vaccine can be given during any trimester of the pregnancy, but preferably early on in the flu season.
Pregnant women should not receive the inhaled flu vaccine. Although studies have shown no pregnancy complications even when mother received the inhaled formulation, its still considered safer to receive the vaccine through injection.
Anyone who has a severe, life-threatening allergy to any component of the vaccine formulation should not receive the vaccine.
If you have a severe allergy to eggs, talk to your doctor about whether you should receive the flu vaccine. While many people with egg allergies can safely receive the flu vaccine, extra precautions often are needed.
Breastfeeding mothers also are encouraged to get the flu vaccine, especially since their newborn will not be able to get the flu vaccine until six months of age. By receiving the flu vaccine while nursing, mothers have the opportunity to provide added protection for their infant in the first months of life when their baby is most vulnerable.
Flu Shots During Pregnancy
- By Andrea Chisholm, MD, Contributor
ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Is your head already spinning from all of the confusing information about the safety of routine vaccinations? Well, news of the latest findings regarding the flu vaccine during pregnancy certainly wont help things.
A group of researchers recently reported an association between a pregnant woman getting the flu vaccine and having a miscarriage.
The authors were clear that the study could not establish that flu shots cause miscarriage. It could only report the observation that, in this small group of women, miscarriage was slightly more common within 28 days of getting the flu shot but only in women who had also gotten a specific formulation of the flu shot the previous year. More research would be needed to draw conclusions beyond that.
But before you panic or march off to your next prenatal appointment to emphatically refuse this seasons flu vaccine, lets take a step back and look at this situation a little more carefully.
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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.
Treatment And Postexposure Chemoprophylaxis In Pregnant Women
Pregnant women are at high risk of serious complications of influenza infection such as intensive care unit admission, preterm delivery, and maternal death. Patients with flu-like illness should be treated with antiviral medications presumptively regardless of vaccination status. Treatment with oseltamivir is preferred however, if oseltamivir is unavailable, zanamivir may be substituted. Health care providers should not rely on test results to initiate treatment and should treat patients presumptively based on clinical evaluation 38.
Because of the high potential for morbidity, the CDC and ACOG recommend that postexposure antiviral chemoprophylaxis be considered for pregnant women and women who are up to 2 weeks postpartum who have had close contact with someone likely to have been infected with influenza. If oseltamivir is unavailable, zanamivir can be substituted, two inhalations once daily for 10 days. All women who are pregnant or are in the first 2 weeks postpartum should be counseled to call for evaluation immediately if the early signs and symptoms of influenza infection develop 38. For more information about treatment and dosage see ACOG and the Society for MaternalFetal Medicines Seasonal Influenza Assessment and Treatment of Pregnant Women with Influenza-like Illness algorithm at www.acog.org/More-Info/FluVaccine.
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Principles For Developing Pregnancy Recommendations
Formulating policy to guide vaccination of women during pregnancy and breastfeeding is challenging because the evidence-base to guide decisions is extremely limited. In 2008, CDC published Guiding Principles for Developing ACIP Recommendations for Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding to provide guidance to help standardize both the process of policy formulation and the format and language of recommendations for pregnant and breastfeeding women to CDC workgroups or subject matter experts developing vaccine statements subsequent to that date.
How Effective Is The Flu Vaccination In Pregnancy Programme
The flu vaccine works better in some years than others .
US studies of the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 found that pregnant women were four times as likely to develop serious illness and up to five times as likely to be admitted to hospital, compared with the general population. As a result of the evidence from this pandemic, pregnant women were added to the list of groups considered to be at higher risk from seasonal flu.
In the UK between 2009 and 2012, flu was the cause of death for 36 women who died during pregnancy or shortly afterwards. It is estimated that half of these deaths could have been prevented by flu vaccination. See the 2014 summary report from MBRRACE-UK .
Recent research covering almost 20,000 pregnant women over six years in the United States, Australia, Israel, and Canada, showed that the flu vaccine provided a 40% reduction in hospitalisations from flu. The PREVENT study looked at data between 2010 and 2016 to identify flu-related hospital admissions .
Studies have shown that women who have been vaccinated against flu are less likely to give birth prematurely, and less likely to have a low-birthweight baby . Other studies have shown that women who have the flu vaccine while pregnant are less likely to experience stillbirth .
Flu vaccination in pregnancy also means that flu antibodies are transferred through the placenta to the baby. This gives the baby some protection against flu for the first few months of life.
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I Am Already Pregnant Is It Safe To Get The Flu Shot
Yes. It is safe to get the flu vaccine at any stage before, during or after pregnancy. The CDC and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend the vaccine for pregnant people.
You should also get the whooping cough vaccine during the 3rd trimester of each pregnancy. Check with your doctor, nurse or clinic about which vaccines you may need. For more information visit our whooping cough vaccine page.
Is The Flu Shot Safe For Pregnant Women
When we talk about the safety of medications for pregnant women, were actually considering two separate things: safety for the mom and safety for the baby. Many times, medications that women take routinely before or after pregnancy arent recommended during pregnancy because we just dont have enough scientific data to show that the medication is safe for the baby.
The flu vaccine is different. It has been given to millions of pregnant women over the years. As documented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there is a significant amount of scientific evidence to show that the flu vaccine is safe for both mother and baby.
There is a significant amount of scientific evidence to show that the flu vaccine is safe for both mother and baby.
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How Can I Protect Myself And My Unborn Child From The Flu
Get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available in your area. You will need to get the flu shot. The nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. If you get the flu shot during your pregnancy, research shows it provides some protection to your baby both while you are pregnant and after the baby is born.
In addition, follow the tips outlined below to keep you and your baby healthy this flu season.
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.
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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.
Yes You Can Get A Flu Shot While Pregnant
The best time to get your flu shot is in October, which is early in the flu season, says Laura Riley, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
It doesn’t matter which trimester you’re in, or if you’re carrying twins, quintuplets, or a single baby, doctors say that the flu shot is safe to get at any point in your pregnancy as well as when you’re breastfeeding.
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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.
Can The Flu Be Dangerous During Pregnancy
Being pregnant definitely puts you at greater risk for the flu’s more serious complications, like pneumonia. In fact, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized from complications of the flu than non-pregnant women of the same age .
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
- Medically reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2018.
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
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So What About The Research Linking Flu Shots And Miscarriage
Many studies over several years have shown the relative safety of the flu vaccine in pregnancy. Although studies involving women in the first trimester of pregnancy are limited, those studies that did include women vaccinated in the first trimester of pregnancy did not show an association with miscarriage.
In a recent study, the data suggest an association between getting a flu shot and having a miscarriage within 28 days of the vaccine, especially in those women who were also vaccinated against the H1N1 strain in the prior year.
These results are surprising. One potential explanation is the specific inflammatory response triggered by the H1N1 vaccine, with a repeat vaccination causing an even more significant response to occur. As noted by the authors of a commentary published with the original article, One important takeaway message from this study is that seasonal vaccine formulations are not all the same.
Expert panels including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have not changed their opinion based on these study results, noting that the study included only a small number of women, and those results are not outweighed by the significant amount of existing data supporting flu vaccine safety. The current guidelines that the flu vaccine is strongly recommended in pregnancy, and is safe to be given in any trimester, remain unchanged.
About the Author
Andrea Chisholm, MD, Contributor
Which Flu Vaccine To Get While Pregnant
Pregnant women should receive the inactivated influenza vaccine, which is delivered by injection. They should avoid the nasal spray vaccine because the spray contains a live virus, which could cross the placenta and cause an infection in the fetus.
Side effects of the flu shot are the same for pregnant women as they are for anyone else, Riley says. They include soreness at the injection site, fatigue, and headache that can last for up to two days after receiving the vaccine.
Though rare, flu shots can cause allergic reactions, and a pregnant woman shouldn’t receive a flu shot if she is severely allergic to a component of the vaccine, like an allergy to eggs.
Generally, people with egg allergies can get the flu vaccine, even if they are pregnant. However, for those with a severe egg allergy, the CDC recommends that the vaccine is given in a medical setting, such as an allergist’s office.
And if there’s still some concern, consult a doctor about whether you might be eligible to receive another form of the vaccine.
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