If you’re pregnant, getting the flu shot might be a good move on two counts: Aside from the obvious benefit (protecting yourself from the flu!) you might also be protecting your baby!
A clinical trial has revealed that a pregnant woman who receives a flu shot can potentially protect her baby from the flu virus up to 6 months after the birth. This is importnat becuase flu shots are not recommended for babies under six months old, and antiviral drug treatments for the flu are not approved for children under a year old. The study determined that with the flu shot, an infant’s risk of contracting the virus was reduced by at least 63 percent. The risk of respitory infections was also reduced by 29 percent.
“Infants under six months have the highest rates of hospitalization from influenza among children in the U.S.” according to Dr. Steinhoff. The good news, based on the new study, is that when mothers are vaccinated the odds of infants contracting the flu could be cut in more than half. Dr. Steinhoff stated, “Our study shows that a newborn’s risk of infection can be greatly reduced by vaccinating Mom during pregnancy. It’s a two-for-one benefit.”
It is now being recommended that expectant mothers get their flu shot a few weeks before flu season starts.
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