During pregnancy, women are at increased risk for complications and severe illness from influenza, including going into labor too early, developing severe pneumonia, and, in rare cases, death. Newborns also are at increased risk for severe illness from the flu. In this podcast, Dr. Carolyn Bridges discusses the importance of pregnant women receiving the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their infants. Created: 8/18/2011 by MMWR.
Date Released: 8/18/2011. Series Name: A Cup of Health with CDC.
A CUP OF HEALTH WITH CDC
Flu-Free Babies and Moms
Influenza Vaccination Among Pregnant Women — United States, 2010–11 Season
Recorded: August 16, 2011; posted: August 18, 2011
[Announcer] This podcast is presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC — safer, healthier people.
[Dr. Gaynes] Welcome to A Cup of Health with CDC, a weekly feature of the MMWR, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. I’m your host, Dr. Robert Gaynes.
Pregnant women and their newborns are at increased risk for severe illness from the flu.
Dr. Carolyn Bridges is the associate director for adult immunizations for CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and she's joining us today to discuss the importance of pregnant women getting the flu vaccine. Welcome to the show, Carolyn.
[Dr. Bridges] Thank you for having me.
[Dr. Gaynes] Carolyn, are pregnant women at higher risk of getting the flu?
[Dr. Bridges] Well, pregnant women are probably at about the same risk as women of similar age. The problem comes when they do get the flu.
[Dr. Gaynes] So are they at higher risk of getting complications from the flu?
[Dr. Bridges] That's right. They are at more risk of complications, including being hospitalized and, rarely, death. They have increased risk of having severe pneumonia and of going into labor early.
[Dr. Gaynes] What happens to the newborn if they get the flu?
[Dr. Bridges] Well, children less than six months of age are at increased of severe flu and can be hospitalized for flu. However, there's no flu vaccine for children less than six months of age.
[Dr. Gaynes] Carolyn, how can moms protect themselves and their babies from the flu?
[Dr. Bridges] The best way for moms to protect themselves and their babies is to get the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine has been given to millions of pregnant women over many years and the vaccine is safe, both for mom and for baby.
[Dr. Gaynes] When during pregnancy should a woman get the flu vaccine?
[Dr. Bridges] Women can get the vaccine any time during pregnancy.
[Dr. Gaynes] Where can listeners get more information about flu vaccination in pregnant women?
[Dr. Bridges] Listeners can get more information from the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu and click on the link about influenza and pregnant women.
[Dr. Gaynes] Thanks, Carolyn. I've been talking today with CDC's Dr. Carolyn Bridges about the importance of pregnant women getting the flu vaccine.
A pregnant woman should get the flu vaccine to protect herself and her baby, through the first six months of life. The flu shot is safe for mom and baby and can be given at any time during pregnancy. If you're pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, ask your health care provider about getting the flu vaccine.
Until next time, be well. This is Dr. Robert Gaynes for A Cup of Health with CDC.
[Announcer] For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO, 24/7.