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: FDA OKs Merck tablet to reduce ragweed allergies

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

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

14 hours ago

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

18 hours ago

Europe's medicine watchdog urged doctors Thursday to be vigilant in administering the cancer drug Herceptin, vials of which had been stolen in Italy and tampered with before being sold back into the supply chain.

Pyridoxine-doxylamine drug safety data lacking

Apr 16, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—The most commonly prescribed drug for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness in their first trimester does not prevent birth defects even though drug safety data says it does, according to research ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.