Study Shows Flu

Topic: Study Shows Flu Vaccine in Pregnancy Does Not Lead to Health Issues for Children

For years, doctors and major medical organizations have recommended that women get an annual flu vaccine during pregnancy as a way to lower their risk of severe complications from the virus. Now, there’s even more research to confirm its safety.

A study published in JAMA found that getting a flu vaccine during pregnancy does not raise the risk that a child will have early health complications.

The study analyzed data from 28,255 children followed after birth up to about when they were 3 1/2 years old, and found that children born to moms who received the flu vaccine did not have a higher risk of asthma, ear and other infections, abnormal growths, or sensory issues. They also weren’t at a higher risk of nonspecific issues like ER visits or hospitalizations.1

“This study adds to what we know from other recent studies showing no harmful effects of flu vaccination during pregnancy on the longer-term health of children,” study co-author Deshayne Fell, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, said in a press release. “This is important because we know that getting the flu shot during pregnancy not only protects the pregnant person, but has the added bonus of protecting newborn babies from getting the flu during their first few months of life, which is when they are most susceptible to respiratory infections but still too young to get the flu shot themselves.”

Healthcare providers outside of the study are thankful for the added level of reassurance the results should offer patients who are on the fence about getting a flu shot.

“Hopefully this will give women more peace of mind to get the recommended flu vaccine when they’re pregnant,” Christine Greves, MD, a board-certified OB/GYN at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, tells Verywell.

Greves says that she regularly counsels patients on getting their annual flu vaccine and has found that “the majority of pregnant women do get it.”

Greves urges pregnant women who are unsure about getting vaccinated against the flu to talk to their doctor.

Topic Discussed: Study Shows Flu Vaccine in Pregnancy Does Not Lead to Health Issues for Children

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