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Flu Vaccine Information for Pregnant Women and Children

December 30, 2019

>>Dr. Alicia Fry:
Hello, I’m Dr. Alicia Fry with the CDC influenza division. This video is intended for
pregnant women and children as well as their
healthcare providers. Today I’ll provide answers to several common
questions about flu vaccines. I would like to begin
with the question; should I get a flu
vaccine if I’m pregnant? The answer, which I would
like to emphasize, is “yes.” Pregnancy lowers your body’s
deafness making you more vulnerable to serious flu
complications that can lead to hospitalization
or even death. This risk for more serious
complication also extends at least 2 weeks postpartum
regardless of pregnancy outcome. Getting a flu shot
protects pregnant women from getting the flu and it
protects their babies too. Studies show that getting a flu
shot while pregnant can decrease your baby’s chance of
getting the flu for up to 6 months after birth. Because infants younger than
6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated,
vaccinating mothers and close contacts is the
best way to protect them. Flu shots are safe for
both pregnant women and their unborn babies. Note that pregnant
women are recommended to receive a flu shot, not
the nasal spray vaccine. As an alternative to
the regular flu shot, pregnant women also can
receive the intradermal flu shot which is FDA licensed
for use in adults 18 through 64 years of age. The intradermal flu shot uses
a needle that is 90% smaller than the regular flu
shot and it is injected into the skin instead
of the muscle. The next question is; when
should I get the flu shot if I’m pregnant and, is it safe to get it while I’m
breastfeeding? The flu shot can be given during
any trimester of pregnancy and it is safe for women who
are currently breastfeeding or planning to breast
feed their child. Women who are not pregnant but who are also breastfeeding
also may receive the nasal spray flu vaccine. The next question is; why are
pregnant women at higher risk for serious flu-related
complications? Changes in the immune system
which impact your ability to fight disease, cardiac
system which involves your heart and blood circulation, and
pulmonary system which pertains to your lungs during pregnancy
make pregnant women more prone to serious illness from the flu. This is why it’s so
important for pregnant women to get vaccinated
against influenza. The next few questions involve
the flu vaccine for children. We’ll start with the question; why should my child
get a flu vaccine? Flu is a serious disease
and this remains true for children of all ages. Every year in the United States, even healthy children
are hospitalized or die from flu complications. In the United States
each year an average of 20,000 children younger than
5 years old are hospitalized because of flu complications. Children younger
than 5 years old, and especially those younger
than age 2, are at higher risk of serious flu complications,
including hospitalization and death compared
to older children. This risk of serious illness is
highest among children younger than 6 months of age. CDC recommends vaccination
for all children 6 months through 18 years of age. Vaccination is especially
important for protecting children with
asthma, diabetes (type 1 and 2), and other long-term health
conditions because they are at increased risk for serious
complications from flu. Children with long-term
medical conditions like these are more
likely to be hospitalized with flu related
complications than children who are otherwise healthy. If you life with or care
for a child at high risk for serious complications
from flu, both you and your child should
get vaccinated. Be sure to let the doctor know
if your child has an allergy to eggs or any health
conditions like asthma, heart or lung conditions,
neurologic conditions, or other medical problems. The next question is; what if my child is too
young for a flu vaccine? Infants younger than 6
months old are too young to be vaccinated, but
you can protect them by getting yourself, other
children, and family members in the household and other
close contacts vaccinated. This will help prevent
spreading the virus to infants. The next question is; should
my child get the flu shot or the nasal spray vaccine? Although the influenza vaccine
is available in the form of a shot or a nasal spray,
there are some differences in the groups recommended
for each. Flu shots are FDA licensed for
use in people 6 months of age or older, including
pregnant women. The nasal spray vaccine, also known as the live
attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV, is FDA licensed
for healthy people 2 through 49 years of age
who are not pregnant. The term “healthy”
is used to indicate that this vaccine is not
recommended for use in people with asthma, heart
disease, diabetes, or other long-term
medical conditions. If your child is healthy
and 2 years of age or older, they can get either a flu shot
or the nasal spray vaccine. The absence of a needle with the
nasal spray vaccine may make it more appealing for your child. Both flu shots and the nasal
spray vaccine have been shown to be effective. If your child is younger than
2 years of age or is any age with a long-term medical
condition or a history of wheezing, they
should get the flu shot and not the nasal spray vaccine. This concludes the CDC video
on answers to common questions about the flu vaccine for
pregnant women and children. Thank you for watching. For more information related
to flu and the flu vaccine, please visit the CDC flu
webpage at

No Comments

  • Reply Cupcake 93 November 30, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Do not get this while pregnant or atleast during the first trimester or when trying to conceive. I got it a few weeks before finding out I got pregnant and then had a miscarriage 2 weeks later! I definitely believe to flu shot was linked to my miscarriage. Manufacturers of these vaccines clearly state they have limited data on whether it is safe for pregnant women.

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