Friday, December 17, 2010

Fact Friday - Flu Shots for Pregnant Women

Thank you to Dr. Jopling for providing the following article about flu shots for pregnant women!

Yale Study Says Vaccinated Mothers Have Healthier Newborns
Flu shots during pregnancy leads to fewer hospitalizations

Getting a flu shot during pregnancy is an effective way for mothers to prevent their newborns from getting the flu, according to a new Yale study.

The three-year study showed that mothers who were vaccinated while pregnant successfully kept their newborns from being hospitalized with influenza 91.5 percent of the time. The study looked at the hospitalizations of infants up to 6 months old. There are currently no flu vaccines for children under 6 months of age.

For the study, the researchers looked at the medical records of infants placed at Yale-New Haven Hospital for influenza, and another group of infants who had not gotten influenza.

Comparisons showed that, of the infants who did not come down with the flu, the overwhelming majority had mothers who had received the vaccine while expecting.

Yale medical student Marietta Vazquez, the study's senior author, said getting the shot while pregnant is an effective way for mothers to protect their infants. It's especially important, since there are no vaccines for children under six months old. And it's cost-effective, she said, since it protects two people with one shot.

Even before the new findings, which are published Wednesday in Clinical Infectious Diseases, health professionals have recommended flu shots for pregnant women since influenza can lead to miscarriages.

Also, pregnancy can make women more susceptible to the flu because of its effect on the immune system.

As far as types of vaccinations, pregnant women should get the flu shot made from an inactivated virus. The nasal spray vaccine, which is made from a live virus, is not recommended.

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