Pregnant women should be among the first flocking to their local doctor’s office or pharmacy to receive this year’s seasonal flu shot, the American Medical Association, the CDC, the March of Dimes, and seven other groups said yesterday in a letter to health care professionals.
While many pregnant women are afraid immunizations might hurt their unborn baby, the organizations emphasize that millions of pregnant women have safely received vaccines in the last decade with no adverse health effects to either the mother or infant.
The 2010 seasonal flu shot will provide immunization against two flu viruses expected to arise this winter as well as the H1N1 flu strain, which ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross says “has a predilection for infants and pregnant women; therefore, we join the parade of the AMA, CDC and March of Dimes in urging pregnant women to get vaccinated.”
ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan believes the coalition among these large health organizations to encourage vaccinations is quite admirable. “Unfortunately, many pregnant women think they must avoid all medications during their pregnancy, but flu vaccines are one thing you don’t want to stay away from.”