Flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women

Despite concerns, research has shown that the flu vaccine does not cause pregnancy complications

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The flu vaccine is not tied to risks in pregnancy, according to new research.

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The health of 74,000 pregnant women who received the injection in 2010-2011 was analysed by the Health Partners Institute for Education and Research in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

It found no link between the vaccine and pregnant women getting urinary tract infections, gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.

Each flu season, surveys show that pregnant women are reluctant to take the vaccine because of concerns that it might lead to possible complications.

Lead author on the study, Dr Elyse Kharbanda told Reuters Health: “Studies of several thousand pregnant women in scientific literature have assessed the safety of using the flu vaccine during pregnancy.

“These studies have shown no evidence of harm to pregnant women, to the unborn child, or to newborns of vaccinated women.”

Contacting the flu is dangerous for pregnant women. They are at greater risk of respiratory disease, premature labour and even death.

“Flu shots protect pregnant women, their unborn babies, and even protect the baby after birth,” Dr Kharbanda said.

This study supports the advice doctors have been giving for years: if you’re pregnant, get vaccinated against the flu.

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