…..A few days ago, the influenza vaccine for the 2012-2013 flu season arrived in my office. In the United States, this season is considered to be October through May. We have already begun to arrange the vaccination for all of our pregnant patients. As a result, it seems to be the appropriate time to have our review of influenza immunization during pregnancy.
…..The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that every pregnant and non-pregnant woman receive an inactivated influenza vaccine. It appears that the most effective way to increase the influenza immunization rates among pregnant women is for the physicians to directly recommend the flu shot to patients. The live, attenuated influenza vaccine is contraindicated for pregnant women, but the inadvertent vaccination of a pregnant woman with the live vaccine has not been shown to be harmful. Therefore it is not an indication for pregnancy termination.
…..Why should we get vaccinated? Influenza, the flu, is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or with nasal secretions. Anyone can get the flu, but the rates of infection are highest among children.
…..The symptoms usually last only a few days and include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, and fatigue. Young children, older people, pregnant women, and people with medical conditions that have them in a weakened state can become much sicker and need to be hospitalized. So by taking the flu shot you can protect yourself and those around you.