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I'm Pregnant. Should I Get a Flu Shot?

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
  • are thinking about getting pregnant
  • have recently given birth
  • 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 any bug that's going around. And changes in how the heart and lungs work during pregnancy make it more likely that the flu will turn 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, but it's not recommended for pregnant women.

If you get 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 lower the chances of developing other health problems.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Date reviewed: September 2019