I just found out that I'm 6 weeks pregnant. Do I need to get the flu vaccine
or will it affect my pregnancy? – Eliza*
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine
for all women who are pregnant — and for those who are considering pregnancy,
who have recently given birth, or who are breastfeeding during flu season.
Pregnancy leads to changes in a woman's body. The immune system becomes a bit weaker.
That makes it easier for pregnant women to catch whatever bug is going around. In
addition, changes in how the heart and lungs work during pregnancy make it more
likely that the flu will develop into a more serious problem, like pneumonia.
Studies have shown that the flu shot is safe during pregnancy. The flu vaccine
also is available as a nasal spray (FluMist®), but it's not recommended
for pregnant women.
If you develop flu-like symptoms before or after you've been vaccinated, call your
doctor right away. Pregnant women who catch the flu may need to take antiviral medicine
to decrease the chances of developing complications.