Medical groups urge flu shots for pregnant women

Sep 15, 2010

(AP) -- Flu season may not sound as scary for pregnant women this year as last - but they're still at high risk and need that shot, says a letter being mailed to thousands of health providers this week from some leading medical societies.

Any kind of is risky during pregnancy, for mother and baby. But last year's swine flu pandemic brought extra attention to the need for vaccination: Government data shows pregnant women account for only 1 percent of the population but represented 5 percent of swine flu deaths.

This year brings a return to the usual one-dose flu vaccine, which will protect against a return of that strain as well as two other flu types.

Women often are reluctant to take medications during their pregnancies and many obstetricians don't offer in their own offices, preferring that their patients get it elsewhere.

Explain the importance of vaccination to pregnant woman and help them find a shot, says Wednesday's letter to physicians and other health providers from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Medical Association, and eight other medical groups.

The only caveat is the type of vaccine: An influenza shot - the kind made with killed virus - is safe during any trimester of pregnancy, the letter stresses. Pregnant women aren't supposed to receive the nasal spray vaccine FluMist, made with a live but weakened virus.

New moms, even if they're breastfeeding, can choose either vaccine, the letter says.

And an extra benefit: Vaccinated " pass on their immunity, protecting babies until they are old enough to receive their own vaccinations," said Dr. Jennifer Howse, president of the March of Dimes, who co-signed the letter.

Explore further: Bristol-Myers: FDA blocks hepatitis C drug for now

3 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Report: Pregnant women need flu shots

Sep 23, 2009

Pregnant women should be sure to get all their flu shots as soon as the vaccines become available this year to protect them against both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 (swine) flu, according to eight leading national maternal ...

Flu season: How many shots?

Aug 30, 2009

(AP) -- Doctors don't know yet if it will take one dose or two of vaccine to protect against the new swine flu. Add that to vaccine for the regular winter flu, and it could be a multishot season for a lot of people - or ...

Pregnant? Get a flu shot -- but it may be a hassle

Sep 28, 2009

(AP) -- It's hard for pregnant women to escape the message: You're at extra risk from swine flu - it could trigger premature labor, hospitalize you for weeks, even kill you - so be among the first in line ...

Recommended for you

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

Nov 26, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.