Do pregnant women need, or should they be given the flu vaccination? Read on to find out…
In Australia flu vaccination is recommended for:
- All women planning a pregnancy, and
- Women who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season (June to October)
… according to the 2008 Australian Immunisation Guidelines.
Vaccination protects the mother and foetus from serious infection and reduces the risk of being hospitalised.Recent studies have also shown that flu vaccination protects the baby after birth. Influenza antibodies from the mother cross the placenta to the baby. In the first 6 months or so, babies with vaccinated mothers have 5 times less hospital admissions for influenza and 3 times fewer acute respiratory infections.
Vaccination during pregnancy is safe. The vaccine contains dead virus particles which cannot cause the flu. Side effects are usually minor.
However, only 5% of pregnant women are currently getting vaccinated.
It is not too late to get have your flu injection. The peak of the flu season is usually July to September. A single injection is required every year and takes about 2 weeks to work.
See your doctor to discuss your circumstances as soon as possible.
- Australian Immunisation Handbook, 9th Edition, 2008
- Fight Flu website
- Please note this information was correct at time of publication.
- For up to date information, speak to your doctor.