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Flu Shots for Pregnant Women Also Protect Newborns
Date:10/20/2011

o or four months.

"Our research suggests that maternal vaccination does provide some protection from the flu for a few months after birth," lead author Dr. Julie Shakib, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah, said in the news release. "Pregnant women should receive the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to protect themselves as well as their babies."

Another study found no link between seasonal flu vaccination while pregnant and miscarriage. Researchers compared 243 pregnant women who had a miscarriage and 243 pregnant women who did not miscarry. Women who miscarried were not more likely to have received flu vaccine in the four weeks before their miscarriage, compared to women who did not miscarry.

"Safety concerns are one of the top reasons pregnant women provide for abstaining from getting the influenza vaccine," Stephanie Irving, an epidemiologist at Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation in Wisconsin, said in the news release. "Our findings should help pregnant women feel more comfortable about getting vaccinated."

Because these studies were presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about pregnant women and the flu.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Infectious Diseases Society of America, news release, Oct. 18, 2011


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