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Importance of a Flu Shot When Pregnant

Posted at: 10/15/2012 5:31 PM
Updated at: 10/16/2012 9:02 AM

Another flu season is almost upon us, and ABC's Dr. Timothy Johnson reminds us of the critical importance of flu shots for pregnant women in this Medical Minute.

Flu season is around the corner, and if you're pregnant, you're actually more at risk. But a survey by the Centers for Disease Control says despite that greater risk, half of pregnant women don't bother to get a flu shot.

Expectant moms have a five times greater chance of getting seriously ill if they catch the flu during pregnancy or immediately after delivery.

A pregnant woman's best defense against the flu is a flu shot and it's safe to get at anytime during pregnancy, during any trimester.

Doctors say many pregnant women don't get the flu shot because they're advised to avoid certain foods and medicines.

Doctors say the vaccine protects both the mother and her unborn child. They also warn that its possible even healthy 'moms to be' can miscarry if they catch a severe case of influenza.

The CDC Survey finds that when doctors both recommend and offer a flu shot, 74% of pregnant women get vaccinated, but its very important to remember, pregnant women should only get the flu shot, not the nasal mist.