Flu Shots and Pregnancy


Generally, flu shots are a controversial topic in the medical world. There have been and still are made many studies about their side effects. Are studied of course, the most vulnerable categories such as elders, children or pregnant women.

The latest studies in this direction have been made in Norway, namely the “Norwegian Institute of Public Health”, which actually reached some important results, and have answered to many questions regarding the risks to which pregnant women are exposed if they get flu shots during pregnancy.

A) Getting a flu shot during pregnancy is not dangerous and may even reduce significantly the risk of the unborn child death.
B) Getting a flu shot does not increase the risk of miscarriage.
C) Pregnant women who are not vaccinated against the flu present an increased risk to lose pregnancy.

This study conducted by “Norwegian Institute of Public Health” is perhaps, the largest one regarding the effects of flu shots to pregnant women. Prior this study it was a reluctance to vaccinate pregnant women in Norway. But during the pandemic swine flu and after this study, vaccination against influenza is highly recommended, especially for women in the third trimester of their pregnancy. This important study was performed on approximately 113,000 pregnant women between 2009 and 2010 when a swine flu strain was extremely active worldwide.

The results were in fact, astonishing. Women who are not vaccinated against influenza during pregnancy, has a two-fold increased risk of the fetus to die than vaccinated women. Although newborn cannot be vaccinated until 6 months of age, he can still receive some protection against influenza by his mother.

In the United States the health officials strongly recommend that pregnant women to receive flu shot. That as a result of the 1950 ‘when it was noticed a significant increase in deaths among pregnant women during a major flu outbreak. U.S. influenza vaccination rates for women during their pregnancy have increased in recent years, nearly half of all pregnant women.

In Canada, pregnant woman group is among the six sectors of entire Canadian population, which should get flu shots. In this way, can be protected both the mother and baby. It is proved that pregnant women are the most exposed to the complications from influenza. Flu vaccination protects the babies from flu and all the complications related hospitalization, not to mention that the infants are unlikely to be premature.

This study conducted in Norway, is also important because it demonstrates that not all drugs or vaccines can be dangerous to the health of the unborn child, as it was considered a few years ago.