What Is A Flu Shot
Influenza vaccination protects you against the seasonal flu, a contagious respiratory illness.
If you end up with the flu, you might experience symptoms like fever, cough, body aches, and a sore throat. The flu is never fun but it can be a lot more serious if you are very old, very young, have certain medical conditions, or are pregnant.
There are two main types of flu vaccine: an injection and a nasal spray. Making sure you get one of these each year is the best way to avoid becoming infected. Getting the shot annually is important because the virus changes and develops, so researchers update the vaccine composition.
In the United States, flu season begins around October and peaks between December and February, so you should schedule your vaccination as early as October 1.
Facts About Flu Vaccination Treatment And Pregnancy
More information on the importance of flu vaccination during pregnancy is available.
More information on the safety of flu vaccination is available.
Considerations For Getting A Covid
Its safe for your health care provider to administer a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. If youre 12 years of age or older, you may get the flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. You may also get it any time before or after you receive the flu shot.
For children aged 5 to 11, the National Advisory Council on Immunization recommends a 14-day interval between a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines. This is to help better monitor for possible side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Provinces and territories will decide on an interval for this age group as part of their vaccination programs.
Talk to a health care provider or consult your provincial or territorial public health authority for the latest guidance.
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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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Make Sure Caregivers And Other Family Members Are Vaccinated Too
In addition to moms, all potential caregivers and siblings should be up on their vaccines. Before the C.D.C. started recommending the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy in 2011, the public health strategy for protecting unvaccinated infants from pertussis was by creating a cocoon of protection around the infant by ensuring all caregivers and household members were vaccinated. There hasnt been enough research to show a benefit to cocooning but that doesnt mean its a bad idea, said Dr. Edwards: I personally think that certainly its a good idea that adults get vaccinated for pertussis. At the least, she said, its reasonable for the grandparents and the father to be vaccinated.
Ensuring your family gets their annual flu shots is important too not only to keep themselves healthy but to help reduce flu circulation around the new baby.
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How Do You Prevent The Flu
Get a flu shot. Donât use FluMist, the nasal spray influenza vaccine. It isnât recommended for pregnant women.
To avoid catching the illness when youâre pregnant:
- Avoid crowds.
- Stay away from people who have a cold.
- Donât touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when you touch a contaminated surface and then touch these areas.
Are Vaccines Safe If I Am Breastfeeding
Yes. It is safe to receive routine vaccines right after giving birth, even while you are breastfeeding. However, yellow fever vaccine is not recommended for breastfeeding women unless travel to certain countries is unavoidable and a healthcare provider determines that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. Talk with your provider if you are considering yellow fever vaccine.
Donahue JG, Kieke BA, King JP, Mascola MA, Shimabukuro TT, DeStefano F, Hanson KE, McClure DL, Olaiya O, Glanz JM, Hechter RC, Irving SA, Jackson LA, Klein NP, Naleway AL, Weintraub ES, Belongia EA. Inactivated influenza vaccine and spontaneous abortion in the Vaccine Safety Datalink in 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15.external icon Vaccine. 2019 Oct 16 37:6673-6681. Epub 2019 Sep 17.
Fortner KB, Swamy GK, Broder KR, Jimenez-Truque N, Zhu Y, Moro PL, Liang J, Walter EB, Heine RP, Moody MA, Yoder S, Edwards KM. Reactogenicity and immunogenicity of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine in pregnant and nonpregnant women.external iconVaccine. 2018 Oct 8 36:6354-6360. Epub 2018 Sep 13.
Kharbanda, E. O., Vazquez-Benitez, G., Lipkind, H. S., Sheth, S. S., Zhu, J., Naleway, A. L., Klein, N. P., Hechter, R., Daley, M. F., Donahue, J. G., Jackson, M. L., Kawai, A. T., Sukumaran, L., and Nordin, J. D. Risk of Spontaneous Abortion After Inadvertent Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in Pregnancy.external iconObstet. Gynecol. 2018 Jul 132: 35-44.
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Flu Shots For Two: Protect Yourself During Pregnancy And Your Baby After Birth
– The phrase two for one suggests a great deal: getting twice the benefit. Thats precisely what a flu shot can do for someone who is pregnant. One shot protects you from flu during and after your pregnancy it also protects your baby during the first few months of their life, when they are too young to get vaccinated. No matter how far along you are in your pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all pregnant people get a flu shot. Ideally, you should get vaccinated against flu by the end of October, but vaccination in November and later is still recommended, as flu most commonly peaks in February and significant activity can continue into May.
One of the best gifts you can give yourself and your baby during pregnancy is an annual flu shot, Dr. Michael Jhung, a medical officer with CDCs Influenza Division, said. Flu is especially dangerous for pregnant women because changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make you more vulnerable to flu and its potentially severe complications.
Both CDCs Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women or those who might be pregnant or postpartum during flu season get a flu shot.
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Getting The Flu Shot While Pregnant: Everything You Need To Know
The early weeks of pregnancy can be a nerve-racking time full of unknownsbut exciting all the same. You’re already off to a great start by coming to us for a debriefing on one pretty controversial yet extremely important subject matters: Getting your flu shot while you’re pregnant.
Since the shot takes two weeks to kick in, getting vaccinated during early fallpreferably by the end of Octoberis a must if you want the most protection from the yearly breakout. We turned to Parents‘ expert Dr. Lisa Hollier, chief medical officer of OB/GYN at The Center for Children and Women and president of ACOG, to ease your mind about making the right decision to receive your flu shot while pregnant. Here are the answers to all the most common questions moms have come flu season.
Why should pregnant women get the flu shot?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women who are not. This is especially true during the second and third trimesters. Blame changes in your immune system, heart, and lungs for this unfortunate truth. Plus, the CDC notes that flu vaccines given during pregnancy can help protect a newborn for several months postpartum before a baby is old enough to receive the vaccination themselves. Consider the passing of antibodies as a welcome to the real-world gift.
Are there alternatives to the flu shot during pregnancy?
Is there a point in a pregnancy when the flu shot is not safe?
Which Vaccines Should I Not Get If I Am Pregnant
Some vaccines are not recommended during pregnancy, such as:
- Certain travel vaccines: yellow fever, typhoid fever, and Japanese encephalitisNote: these travel vaccines should generally not be given during pregnancy, unless your healthcare provider determines that the benefits outweigh the risks.
If you get any of these vaccines and then find out you are pregnant, talk to your doctor. Further doses of the vaccines, if needed, should be given after you have completed the pregnancy.
Myth: Breastfeeding Women Shouldnt Get A Flu Shot
Its completely safe to breastfeed after youve received a flu shot. By keeping yourself healthy, youre actually protecting the baby, just like getting the Tdap or whooping cough vaccines. You may be able to transfer immunity by passing along antibodies through your milk to your baby. This is a huge benefit, because children cant get flu shots until they are six months or older.
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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.
Should Pregnant Women Get A Flu Shot
As flu season approaches, youve likely seen and heard a lot of encouragement to get your flu shot and for a very good reason. Getting vaccinated is one way you can help protect yourself, your family and those around you. Influenza vaccines are available at your doctors office, and some workplaces even provide them.
Amidst all the talk about the flu, one question I hear every year is from pregnant women wondering whether theyre supposed to get a flu shot. Some even assume they shouldnt get the flu shot because they are so used to their doctors and pharmacists telling them not to take certain medications while pregnant. To dispel any myths or misunderstandings about receiving the influenza vaccine while pregnant, read on.
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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.
Influenza Vaccine And Pregnancy
Pregnant women and their babies are at increased risk for influenza-related complications. Pregnant women are also more likely to be hospitalized with flu than women of reproductive age who are not pregnant.
CDC has received reports of flu hospitalizations and deaths in pregnant women with influenza virus infection. It is important that we stay vigilant in protecting pregnant and postpartum women from flu.
Your recommendations make a difference to your patients. The first and most important step for flu prevention is a flu vaccine. Treatment with flu antiviral drugs is our second line of defense against flu.
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If You Have Flu Symptoms What Should You Do
If you experience flu symptoms , even if you have already received a flu shot, . Doctors can prescribe influenza antiviral medicine to treat flu. Antiviral drugs can shorten your illness, make it milder and lessen the chance of developing serious complications.
Because pregnant women are at high risk of serious flu complications, the CDC recommends that they be treated quickly with antiviral drugs if they get flu symptoms.
Oral Oseltamivir is the preferred treatment for pregnant women because it has the most studies available to suggest that it is safe and beneficial. These medicines work best when started early.
Fever is often a symptom of flu. Having a fever early in pregnancy increases the chances of having a baby with birth defects or other problems. Tylenol can reduce a fever, and can be taken safely in limited amounts during pregnancy, but you should still call your doctor or nurse and tell them about your illness.
Are Vaccines Safe During Pregnancy
Certain vaccines are safe and recommended for women before, during, and after pregnancy to help keep them and their babies healthy. The antibodies mothers develop in response to these vaccines not only protect them, but also cross the placenta and help protect their babies from serious diseases early in life. Vaccinating during pregnancy also helps protect a mother from getting a serious disease and then giving it to her newborn.
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Tell Your Doctor About Any Side Effects
It is possible to see some mild side effects for a short period of time after getting immunized. “You may experience soreness at the injection site, fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, or headache,” Dr. Langdon notes. Reach out to a healthcare provider with any concerns about your side effects.
In very rare cases, you may experience an allergic reaction. Call a healthcare provider or an emergency number immediately if you experience symptoms like breathing problems, dizziness, or a fast heartbeat.
What To Do If Youre On The Fence About Getting Vaccinated
Getting the flu shot during any trimester of pregnancy is reasonable and safe, and being vaccinated against the flu in the first trimester will not put your baby at risk. But if youre nervous about getting the flu shot during the first trimester, dont refuse to be vaccinated. Just hold off until after you reach 20 weeks of pregnancy. The Vaccine study reported there was no increased risk after 20 weeks of pregnancy. You might not be as fully protected from the flu, which can lead to serious complications including hospitalization and even death in pregnant women, but your baby will still get the antibody benefit.
The key takeaway for women is that scientific research studies have never proven a cause/effect relationship between the flu vaccine and miscarriage. In fact, showed no link between miscarriage rates and maternal flu vaccination using clinical data, and an found no increased risk between maternal flu vaccination and birth defects in babies. Even the study published in Vaccine states that the data retrieved demonstrate an association, not a cause/effect relationship, between flu shots and miscarriage.
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Im Pregnant When Should I Get The Covid Vaccine Can I Get The Flu Vaccine Too
- Im Pregnant. When Should I Get the COVID Vaccine? Can I get the Flu Vaccine, Too?
In December of 2020, about a week before Christmas, Valerie Gotie, N.P., had a decision to make. Unlike the classic questions at this time of year like what food to serve or which last-minute gifts to buy this was a weightier worry. Valerie was three months pregnantshould she get the COVID vaccine?
In pregnancy, timing is important. It is no surprise that the question of when to get vaccinated is top-of-mind for pregnant people, who want to do what is best for their unborn baby.
Valerie, a nurse practitioner who works in Orthopaedics and the Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center, made her decision without much hesitation. After conducting her own research and talking with her husband, she told her doctor she planned to get vaccinated. Her obstetrician agreed it was the right thing for Valerie to do, and she got her shot before Christmas.
Some of my coworkers, who werent pregnant, questioned why I did it so soon, said Valerie, who was eligible for the vaccine earlier than most, given her role as a health care provider. When you are pregnant, your immune system is automatically compromised. I wanted to protect myself and my baby as best I could, because Ive seen firsthand the devastating effects of viruses like COVID. Respiratory distress and respiratory failure are beyond frightening.