Flu Shot in Pregnancy Keeps Women Out of Hospital


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The influenza vaccine offered pregnant women moderate protection against flu-related hospitalizations, researchers found.

Flu vaccine was equally protective for women during all three trimesters.

"With everybody in such close contact these days you really need to get protected". She's six months pregnant.

These "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", Naleway added in a news release from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pregnant women are high on the list of people who should get a flu shot every year.

Recent CDC data suggest that only about half of pregnant women got their flu shot previous year, but the authors cited the "paucity of data" on influenza vaccine effectiveness in preventing severe influenza-related outcomes, given that randomized trials would be "unethical".

Pregnant women are often anxious about getting vaccines, especially as they are cautioned against taking many medications that may affect the unborn baby. "I think it's extremely important that they are providing the service to keep people from getting the flu", he said. They added that their findings could help expand use of the vaccine in higher-income countries, given that flu vaccine uptake in pregnant women is well below national and worldwide goals. The analysis includes 2 million pregnant women, and more than 80% of pregnancies overlapped flu season, upping the likelihood that women would be exposed at some point in their pregnancy.

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Some people say they are not going to get a flu shot because it doesn't always work, said YCCHS nurse Christine Dixon, "but I always tell them it's better than not getting a flu shot at all". Sites retrospectively examined medical records of more than two million women who were pregnant from 2010 through 2016 to identify those who were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu.

"The age is now as young as 6 months old", the doctor said, cautioning that babies under 6 months should not receive the vaccine.

They also found a very low vaccination rate.

The findings come from a multi-country, CDC-coauthored study published today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Flu illness can range from mild to severe, but it presents a heightened risk for pregnant women who undergo changes to their immune system, heart, and lungs. "A common flu symptom is fever, which may be associated with neural tube defects and other adverse outcomes for a developing baby", the CDC says. The authors found that compared with influenza-negative pregnant women hospitalized with acute respiratory or febrile illness hospitalizations, influenza-positive pregnant women were more likely to be in their third trimester and less likely to have a high-risk medical condition. The CDC says it is still analyzing that study, which involved two specific flu seasons.

The study was supported in part by the CDC.

"Multiple studies have shown that women who have gotten flu shots during pregnancy have not had a higher risk for spontaneous abortion (miscarriage)", the CDC adds.