Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy – Why Is It Important?

Influenza may be easily mistaken for the common cold! But influenza is far more serious than a runny nose and sore throat! In extreme cases, it may lead to hospitalisation as well.

During pregnancy, women undergo many changes in the immune system, heart and lungs and may be more prone to complications from the flu.

What Is Flu Vaccination?

The influenza vaccination helps protect against up to 4 strains of the influenza virus – swine flu (H1N1) and 3 others. It may prevent severe complications caused by the flu infection.

Why Should You Get the Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy?

If a pregnant woman contracts the flu, there could be severe complications which may even lead to the need for hospitalisation. In this process, the health of the mother and her unborn baby gets compromised. The flu vaccination works by triggering the immune system, thereby creating antibodies that fight the flu virus when it enters the body. Getting a flu shot can help pregnant women in the following ways:

  • Flu vaccinations for pregnant women may decrease the risk of stillbirth.
  • The maternal antibodies developed after the mother takes the flu shot could be passed to the baby in the womb.

Please consult your gynaecologist for further information.

Is Flu Vaccination Safe for Pregnant Women and Their Babies?

Flu vaccination is well-tolerated in pregnant women and their babies, as per the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

When Can You Get Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy?

Health experts suggest that the flu vaccination may be given during any trimester of pregnancy. To know more, consult your gynaecologist.

Are There Any Side Effects of Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy?

Like any other vaccination or medicine, a flu shot may have possible mild and temporary side effects that go away on their own.

Tenderness or redness at the injection site is the most common side effect of this vaccination. Some other side effects of the influenza vaccination in pregnant women are headache, muscle ache, fever, and fatigue which are commonly observed with other vaccinations too.

Who Should Avoid Taking the Flu Shot

If you have had a medical history of life-threatening allergic reactions to the influenza vaccination or any of the vaccine’s components, you should avoid taking the vaccine. In such a case, consult your doctor to find a suitable alternative to protect you against the flu.

Flu is not to be scared of as it can be prevented in simple and easy ways. For pregnant mothers, taking care of the diet, following hygiene practices and timely vaccination not only helps prevents flu but also ensures a healthy lifestyle. Please consult your gynaecologist for more information.

If you found this article informative, please share it with fellow mamas-to-be!

References:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal)
https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/68/9/1444/5126390?login=false
https://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4208.pdf
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pregnancy/hcp-toolkit/flu-vaccine-pregnancy.html
https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/Influenza-vaccine-in-pregnancy-What-expectant-mothers-need-to-know
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/pregnant.htm

*WER9719-eng-fre (1).pdf [Accessed Sep 2022]

Disclaimer: Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.

Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical queries, any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. The disease list indicated for vaccination is not complete, please consult your doctor for the complete vaccination schedule.

NP-IN-FLT-OGM-220036, DoP Oct 2022

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