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Pregnant? Here’s Why the Flu Shot Is a Really Good Idea

The CDC says you shouldn't think twice.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Updated
March 13, 2017
pregnant woman hands belly
Image: Raymond Forbes

Now that you’re pregnant, you’re hyperaware of everything that’s going into your body. From  tuna to Tylenol, you’re second-guessing everything. But a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you shouldn’t think twice about a flu shot.

The March of Dimes backs the report, emphasizing that changes to a pregnant woman’s immune system, heart and lungs put her at an increased risk of harmful flu effects. Babies born to moms who got vaccinated reap the benefits too; your flu shot protects baby from serious influenza-related illnesses for her first six months of life, plus a slew of other conditions, like asthma, heart problems and diabetes.

The report didn’t find any scary side effects of the immunization—like a higher risk of preterm birth or birth defects—among the thousands of moms-to-be studied. In fact, still births were actually less common for vaccinated women.

Currently, only about half of all pregnant women choose to get the flu shot each year. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated annually.

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