Is it safe for me to get a flu shot for this winter season?
Not only is the injectable flu vaccine recommended for all pregnant women during all trimesters, but it is safe and necessary that you take it. When you are pregnant, your immune system is compromised making you more susceptible to viruses and other contagious illnesses. By taking the flu vaccine you are preventing the risk of acquiring the flu and, thus, protecting yourself and your unborn child. Although, should you contract the flu in pregnancy this not considered a risk to the pregnancy. Great question !
The CDC recommends that all people aged six months and older be vaccinated against the flu. Annual flu vaccination is especially critical for pregnant women because it performs double duty by protecting both pregnant women and their fetuses. Babies cannot be vaccinated against the flu until they are six months old, but they receive antibodies from their mother that help protect them until they can be vaccinated.
Vaccination early in the flu season is optimal, but it can be given at any time during the flu season and at any stage of pregnancy. The College advises that all women who are or become pregnant during the annual flu season (October through May) get the inactivated flu vaccine. The live attenuated version of the flu vaccine (the nasal mist) should not be given to pregnant women. Women can also receive the flu vaccine postpartum and while they are breastfeeding if they missed it during pregnancy.
“There have been no controlled studies demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with FluLaval®.” (from the GlaxoSmithKline 2011-2012 product insert)
Flu vaccines have not been studied to see if they can cause cancer or affect the reproductive system.
Flu vaccines may contain mercury.
Flu vaccines may contain formaldehyde. You choose!