Getting vaccinated is the best and safest way for pregnant women to help protect their babies and themselves from flu.
Should pregnant women get vaccinated against flu?
Yes, influenza (flu) vaccination is recommended for women who are pregnant or will be pregnant during flu season. Pregnant women are at increased risk for complications from flu, which can include pneumonia, hospitalization, and even death.
Pregnant women can be vaccinated during any trimester with an 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 flu. There is no evidence of risk to a developing baby from inactivated vaccines given to the mother.
When should pregnant women get vaccinated against flu?
Flu viruses typically circulate in the US 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 give birth, how can I make sure my baby is protected against flu?
You can actually start protecting your baby before birth by getting a flu vaccine for yourself. Staying healthy throughout pregnancy is a positive step toward having a healthy newborn.
Infants cannot be vaccinated against flu until they are age 6 months or older, but they are particularly vulnerable to severe complications from flu. The best way to protect them is by making sure that those in close contact with them are vaccinated, including parents, grandparents, and caregivers.
Beginning at age 6 months, all children should be vaccinated against flu, every year. Parents and caregivers should talk to their child’s pediatrician or other healthcare professional about the number of doses their child may need.
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Reviewed September 2023
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention