Flu Shots: Good for Pregnant Women and Even Better for Their Unborn Babies

Flu shot
Pregnant women who get a flu shot are doing their unborn babies a favor, according to a new study

A new study released this week said pregnant women who get influenza vaccinations during flu season were less likely to have premature or smaller infants.

Researched published in PLoS Medicine said preterm babies (those born after less than 37 weeks of gestation) have increased 3.3 percent over a 25-year period. Pregnant women are at greater risk of the flu, and the study looked at pregnant women who got the flu shot compared to those who didn’t over a two-year period.

The results were overwhelmingly in favor of women who got the shot.

Seventy-two percent of pregnant women who received the influenza vaccine were less likely to have a premature newborn, and were 69 percent less likely to have a baby that was smaller than it should have been for its gestational age.

The data surveyed came from the Georgia Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, which looked at 4,169 pregnant women with babies born during the flu seasons in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Does this study make you more likely to get a flu shot this fall if you’re pregnant?

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