Yes! The flu shot is a safe and very effective way to protect you AND your baby from serious illness and complications from the flu. It is recommended that all women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant during the flu season (October thru May) have the influenza vaccine. The vaccine is safe in pregnancy; it has been given to literally millions of pregnant women over many years safely.
The flu vaccine can be given at ANY time during pregnancy; it is never too early…or “too late”. It takes approximately 2 weeks for protection to develop after the vaccination; protection then lasts for about one year. The flu vaccine is actually the best protection you can give your newborn baby against the possible serious complications of influenza; babies under 6 months of age are too young to get the vaccine and are very susceptible to the possible serious complications of the flu. Getting the vaccine during pregnancy allows your baby to get the same antibodies against the virus that you do; protecting the baby the same as it protects you. Even if you “never” get the flu and feel that you don’t “need it”, your baby does!
A few myths need to be dispelled about the flu vaccine: first it is NOT possible to get the flu from the vaccine; second the preservative that may be present in trace amounts in some vaccine have never been shown to harm you or your baby. There is the option of preservative free vaccine, which we offer here at Women’s Wellness.
So….the bottom line is YES!
You should get the flu vaccine and feel comfortable that you are protecting yourself and your baby in the safest way possible from the risk of a potentially serious illness.
Dr. Anne Rainville, MD