Delaware County Medical Society Winter 2017 - 6
Flu: Fact or Fiction?
I got the flu from the flu vaccine.
Fiction. You cannot get the flu from the flu
vaccine as there is no live virus in the flu shot.
The flu isn't that bad.
Fiction. The flu is not a cold. It is a serious
infection that results in thousands of deaths in the
U.S. each year. In fact, flu and pneumonia are among
the top ten killers of adults in this country.
Flu Vaccine during Pregnancy
Protects Mother and Baby
Studies show that changes in a pregnant woman's immune
system, heart, and lungs can make her more susceptible to
severe illness from flu, which is why flu vaccines have been
recommended for pregnant women since 2004. When a
pregnant women contracts flu it can result in serious problems
for her unborn baby, including premature labor and delivery.
Another study determined that falling ill with flu during
pregnancy may quadruple your child's risk for bipolar disorder.
The good news is that getting a flu vaccine during pregnancy
not only helps protect the mother, but also provides passive
transfer of maternal antibodies to the unborn baby. This
can be crucial protection for newborns that are unable to
be vaccinated for flu until they are six months of age. In
fact, it has been found that when a woman gets vaccinated
during pregnancy, it reduces her risk of flu-associated acute
respiratory infection by about 50 percent. There are even
studies that show that when pregnant women receive the flu
vaccine, they can also reduce the risk of flu illness in their
babies by up to 50 percent. And this protective benefit was
observed for up to four months after birth. In an abstract
published by the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society,
influenza vaccination during the second and third trimester
provided up to 35 times more protection in the children
of those vaccinated compared to those who were not.
Another way to help keep infants under six months
of age safe from flu is to ensure everyone around
them, including friends, family members and other
caregivers, receive their annual flu vaccine.
DELAWARE COUNTY MEDICINE & HEALTH
I need a flu vaccine every year.
Fact. The effectiveness of the vaccine wanes
over time, so even if the flu strains covered by
the vaccine haven't changed from one year to the
next, you should still get vaccinated annually to
maximize your protection against the flu.
Pregnant women should not
receive a flu vaccine.
Fiction. Since 2004, the CDC has recommended
pregnant women should receive a flu vaccine
no matter what trimester they are in.
Receiving a flu vaccine is the
best way to prevent the flu.
Fact. While handwashing and other preventive measures
can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases, receiving
your annual vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu.