Should you get the flu vaccine while pregnant?

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With influenza season setting in, local experts are reminding mothers-to-be to get their flu shot.

Lauren Miles is expecting her first child this year. The excited mother to be says she’s taking steps now to bring a healthy child into the world in the future.

“I think what really went into my decision for getting a flu shot is, I mean, I’m normally getting my flu shot every year anyway, but the fact that I’m pregnant this year, that really, increased the importance for me just because I know that I’m going to be more protected from the flu,” Miles said.

While she always gets the flu shot, she says she did have questions about getting the vaccine while pregnant.

“I think the biggest question that we get is, is the flu shot safe for me and my baby? And we know that the flu shot is safe and also incredibly important to get,” Dr. Elizabeth Miller said.

Dr. Elizabeth Miller says getting the flu shot is one of the best ways to keep mothers and babies safe.

“Pregnant women who get influenza are at a higher risk for a more severe infection than non-pregnant individuals. And that includes increased risk of hospitalization, need for intensive care, need for early or premature delivery, and also an increased risk of death,” Miller said.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the flu vaccine while pregnant, Miller encourages you to speak with your doctor first.

She says pregnant women who get a flu shot are also able to pass some of that protection to their unborn baby.

And during a global pandemic, avoiding other illnesses is crucial.

“It’s more important now than ever for moms to be getting the flu shot and also to be wearing masks at all times when they’re indoors, avoiding large crowds and doing all of the other precautions that we have with COVID, which are going to keep moms more safe from both COVID and influenza,” Miller said.

If you haven’t already received your flu shot, she says now is a great time to get it.

“I would definitely encourage others to get the flu shot, encourage other pregnant women to get the flu shot because you are protecting yourself and you’re protecting other people. You’re protecting other people that are vulnerable,” Miles said.

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