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Pregnancy and Influenza Vaccine

Pregnant Woman with Child

UPDATE: The updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines is available at:  
Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines, 2017-2018. Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons age 6 months and older who do not have contraindications. A licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate vaccine should be used.

Should pregnant women get vaccinated against influenza?
Yes, health officials recommend influenza vaccination for women who are pregnant or will be pregnant during the flu season (view additional information about vaccination recommendations). Pregnant women are at increased risk for complications from influenza (flu). Complications include pneumonia, hospitalization, and even death.

Pregnant women can be vaccinated during any trimester with the inactivated, injectable influenza vaccine (they should not receive the nasal spray vaccine).

Is immunization safe for pregnant women and their babies?
Immunization is the best and safest way for pregnant women to protect themselves, their developing babies, and newborns from influenza. There is no evidence of risk to a developing baby from inactivated vaccines given to the mother.

When should pregnant women get the influenza vaccine?
Influenza circulates in the United States during the fall and winter each year. It is difficult to predict exactly when flu activity will begin in any given area, so it is important to get vaccinated as soon as vaccine is available in your community.

Once I have my baby, how can I make sure he or she is protected?
You can actually start protecting your baby before he or she is born by getting vaccinated against influenza yourself. Staying healthy throughout pregnancy is a positive step toward having a healthy newborn.

Infants cannot be vaccinated against influenza until they are at least 6 months of age, but they are particularly vulnerable to severe complications from influenza. The best way to protect them is by making sure those in close contact with them are vaccinated, including parents, grandparents, and caregivers.

Beginning at 6 months of age, all children should be vaccinated against flu. Infants need two doses one month apart to be protected against influenza. Parents and caregivers should talk to their child’s pediatrician or other healthcare professional about the number of doses their child needs.