Pregnant women should get flu vaccine

As published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, a study has shown that giving pregnant women a single dose of influenza vaccine reduces her newborn’s chance of getting flu by 63%. The vaccine triggers mom’s immune system to make antibodies against the flu virus, which cross the placenta to protect the baby even after Junior is born. The CDC has been recommending flu vaccines for pregnant women for several years to protect her own health, and also to prevent her from spreading flu to her young child, but this study shows that vaccinating mom while pregnant will safely and effectively confer flu protection to her baby. It’s 2 for the price of 1, and it’s pretty neat.

The story was reported here, where mistakenly the story also says that flu vaccine is recommended for children aged 6 to 24 months. This hasn’t been true since 2006. The current recommendation is for flu vaccination to be given to all children from age 6 months to 18 years.

Visit the CDC web site for more info about influenza and vaccinations.

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