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Should Pregnant Women Get Flu Shots?

William Schaffner, MD explains why pregnant women should get vaccinated against flu.

William Schaffer, MD, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, explains why pregnant women should get vaccinated against flu.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“Women who are pregnant, if they get influenza, have rates of complications of influenza comparable to those of people aged 65 and older, and that’s not generally recognized. They’re more apt to get more seriously ill, and so, it’s very important to vaccinate pregnant women against influenza so they don’t get sick. But there’s a bonus. As they make antibodies, the protection against flu they’ll pass through the placenta into the newborn. And so, when that baby is born during the first six months of life, they will have passive protection from their mothers against influenza; so, it’s two for the price of one. And my obstetrician friends tell me that when they tell pregnant women that by getting vaccinated against flu they’ll protect their babies, they start rolling up their sleeves. It’s safe; that’s a very important message when you’re vaccinating a pregnant woman. It’s not only safe, it’s effective.”