October 26, 2021

CDC Warns of Dangers of Influenza for Pregnant Women

Pregnant Women Urged to Get Flu Shots

Pregnant Women Urged to Get Flu Shots

Teaming up with leaders of several health care organizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is stressing the significance of women that are pregnant receiving influenza vaccinations this year.

The group is warning of the higher risk for significant complications from the flu bug for pregnant women and how immunization is the very best method for protecting themselves as well as their unborn babies.
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Lt. Col. Susan Lahr, deputy director of the Military Vaccine Agency, has advised that one of the highest priority groups for receiving this year’s flu vaccination is women who are pregnant. The rate of hospitalization for women with flu-like illness is typically higher for pregnant women than for the remainder of the general population. Not only should they receive the vaccine, but they should be among the first group to be immunized.”

While pregnant women make up only 1% of the population, they represented 5% of deaths from H1N1 last flu season. Despite the fact that no H1N1 pandemic is anticipated this year, influenza remains a serious threat for pregnant women.

“Immunization is important not only for pregnant women, but also for women who may become pregnant during flu season,” Lahr said. “All potential child-bearing women have the potential for serious complications from influenza during their pregnancy.”

The health care group is urging health care professionals to strongly encourage their pregnant patients to receive immunization and to advise them as to the benefits and safety of the vaccine.

Dr. Mary Anne McCaffree, an AMA board member added, “Advice from a physician plays a big role in patients choosing to get the flu vaccine. Because pregnant women carry a heightened risk for serious complications and death from the flu, it’s even more important we take the time to educate them on the health benefits of getting vaccinated.”

McCaffree added, “The seasonal influenza vaccine shot is safe to administer to pregnant women in any trimester. Pregnant women should not receive the nasal spray version of the vaccine.”

The influenza vaccine for the 2010-2011 flu season provides immunity to three different strains of the influenza virus, including the H1N1 virus of 2009. Only a single inoculation is necessary for complete protection against influenza.