The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reiterated the necessity of getting a flu shot, especially for pregnant women this season.
A new study has shown that women who are expecting are more at risk of getting a more serious illness from flu than women who are of reproductive age but are not pregnant. Women who got vaccinated are also saving their children from the flu before and after birth.
CDC Recommends Pregnant Women To Get Flu Shots
The CDC teamed up with other public health agencies from Australia, Canada, and Israel for the study. It involved about 2 million women who were pregnant between 2010 and 2016.
Over the course of six flu seasons, the researchers found that pregnant women are 40 percent more likely to end up in the hospital because of a more serious illness after getting the flu. This might be because a woman undergoes changes in her lung and heart functions as well as her immune system.
"Expecting mothers face a number of threats to their health and the health of their baby during pregnancy, and getting the flu is one of them," stated study co-author Allison Naleway. "This study's findings underscore the fact that there is a simple, yet impactful way to reduce the possibility of complications from flu during pregnancy: get a flu shot."
Unfortunately, only 50 percent of pregnant women say that they have been administered with their flu shot during the 2016 to 2017 season. The CDC has also approved the use of nasal spray vaccines this year.
Benefits And Side Effects Of Flu Shots
Although there might be adverse side effects of flu shots, they are often mild and do not cause concern. Some of the side effects of the vaccine are soreness, tenderness, or swelling of the area where the shot was administered. Some also report headache, muscle aches, nausea, and tiredness.
Moreover, the benefits of getting a flu shot while pregnant certainly outweigh the minimal side effects. Aside from protecting moms from getting the flu, vaccines can also protect babies from the illness after they were born. This is especially crucial because babies under the age of six months cannot get flu shots.
Pregnant women can get their vaccines administered anytime during their pregnancies. The CDC also recommends that moms who were not able to get their flu shots before giving birth to still get the vaccine in order to avoid getting sick around the baby.
The study was published by the Oxford Academic's Clinical Infectious Diseases.