A flu shot can protect mother and child

If you’re pregnant during the flu season, don’t forget to get your flu shot. It will protect you from misery and possible complications, and also may protect your baby during the first few months of life, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in June, 2011.

The study found that children of vaccinated mothers were 45 to 48 percent less likely to be hospitalized for influenza. “Given that infants under 6 months of age have the highest hospitalization rate among all children and that the vaccine is not licensed for that age group, these data support that infants born to vaccinated mothers benefit from the transfer of maternally derived antibodies,” the authors wrote.

SOURCE: Laurie Barclay, doctor of medicine, “Influenza vaccinational during pregnancy may protect newborns,” Medscape Medical News, July 1, 2011; American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, June 2011.

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Last Updated October 12, 2011