Experts consider the flu vaccine safe for pregnant women
-- in fact, they are recommended:
The flu can be more severe in expecting moms, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that women who will be more than three months pregnant during the influenza season to get vaccinated.
And here's another motivation to get your shot: You can cut your newborn's risk of getting the flu by 41 percent, found a new study of over 1,169 infants which was published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
Babies of vaccinated mothers also had higher levels of flu antibodies at birth than babies born to unvaccinated moms. "Although influenza vaccination is recommended for pregnant women to reduce their risk of influenza complications, these findings provide support for the added benefit of protecting infants from influenza virus infection up to six months, the period when infants are not eligible for influenza vaccination but are at highest risk of severe influenza illness," the researchers conclude.
It has long been known that newborn babies are protected against diseases by immunity-antibodies from their mother. Expecting moms who get vaccinated pass on that additional protection to their baby.
Given that young children are at higher risk of complications from infection with the influenza virus, getting your flu shot is one of the most important protective head-starts you can give your child. The optimal time for influenza vaccinations is from October to November, just before the flu season begins.