It’s flu season again and it is of paramount importance that pregnant women receive their flu vaccine. Even though, this year’s vaccine is not as effective as last year’s, it does seem to provide some protection.
Pregnant women are more susceptible to the flu as their immune system is different when they are pregnant. According to the California Department of Public Health, last year there were 17 cases of severe influenza in pregnant women, in which, four women died, nine needed mechanical ventilation, and 5 needed emergent C-sections.
I hospitalized three pregnant patients last year with pneumonia, brought on by the flu. Not one of them had been vaccinated. You are safe to get the flu vaccine anytime during your pregnancy. The only reasons not to get the flu shot would be if you had allergies to eggs or you have a current illness.
The flu vaccine is not only safe in pregnancy, but, it also helps protect the newborn baby from the flu. And, Tamiflu is a low risk medication in pregnancy, so you shouldn’t hesitate to use it in your pregnancy.
So do yourself and your baby a favor and get your flu shot today. We do have it available here in my office at Providence OB/gyn. Call and schedule your appointment today.