Flu and whooping cough vaccine in pregnancy: no harm to baby, confirms new study

Getting the flu and pertussis vaccines when you're pregnant has no long-term negative effect on your baby, say researchers at the US Centre for Disease Control

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Getting vaccinated for the flu or whooping cough during pregnancy doesn’t pose a risk for your unborn baby. That’s been confirmed by US researchers who’ve done a huge, new study at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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There’s been a lot of confusion and worry out there recently around vaccines during pregnancy – and some of that may well be down to the fact that, despite official recommendations that every pregnant woman should have the jabs, there hasn’t been, until now, actual in-depth research on their safety.

That’s exactly why lead author Dr Lakshmi Sukumaran and her team of scientists conducted their study…

“We wanted to provide reassurance that these vaccines, which are recommended for all pregnant women, aren’t creating a risk for the baby, ” she says.

The study results, published by AAP Pediatrics, looked at 413,034 babies born in the US between 2004 and 2014.

In the 1st 6 months of life, 25,222 of those babies were hospitalised and 157 died – but researchers found no link between these events and the mother having received the recommended flu and whooping cough vaccinations when pregnant.

And, of course, it goes without saying that both the flu and whooping cough (a respiratory disease, also known as pertussis) are very contagious and particularly dangerous for newborns – who are too young to have had their own vaccines yet.

Previous studies suggest that vaccination during pregnancy helps pass along some of that immunity to the baby.

One thing we should note here is that the study did only include women with health insurance – which is needed in the US to cover hefty payments for medical treatment. It’s not known how the results would’ve differed for uninsured women.

Regardless, we do hope these findings are reassuring to those who aren’t sure about vaccines during pregnancy ?

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