When moms get flu shot, babies benefit - Macleans.ca

When moms get flu shot, babies benefit

Babies are bigger, healthier and less likely to be premature: study


Pregnant women who are vaccinated against the flu will have bigger, healthier babies that are less likely to be premature, according to a new report that shows influenza vaccines protect pregnant women and their babies after birth. Researchers hope this will encourage pregnant women to get the vaccine. “We are talking about one vaccine protecting two individuals,” Dr. Marietta Vazquez of Yale University told reporters. “Maybe if they are not getting vaccinated for themselves, they will do it for their babies.” Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the flu because their immune systems are suppressed so their body doesn’t reject the fetus, which also presses on their lungs. Currently 6 per cent of swine flu deaths have been among pregnant women. In the study, which started in 2000, U.S. researchers looked at some 350 pregnant women—157 who got the flu shot and 195 who didn’t. “Flu vaccine given to women during pregnancy is 85 percent effective in preventing hospitalization in their infants under 6 months of age,” the team wrote in a statement.


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