It’s flu season, which means it’s once again time for people to get their yearly flu vaccinations. Because the flu virus constantly mutates, it’s important for individuals to get a new vaccination each year, however, the flu vaccination is more important for some to receive than others. Although many women believe it’s unsafe to get a flu vaccination while pregnant, they couldn’t be further from the truth.

Is It Safe?

Despite the hesitation some pregnant women may have, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the flu shot is perfectly safe for pregnant women. The CDC reports that flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies and is perfectly safe to be administered during any trimester of a pregnancy.

Side effects are rare, but if they do occur they are usually nothing more than soreness or redness where the shot is given.

Is It Necessary?

Not only are flu shots during pregnancy safe, they are also important. Some people are vulnerable to more severe flu symptoms than others. For example, Time reported that infants, the elderly, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to more severe bouts of the flu than the general population. When it comes to pregnant women, however, the flu is not just a major inconvenience, it can be lethal. According to Time, pregnant women are six times more likely to die from the flu than non-pregnant women.

In addition to the mother’s health, flu vaccination are important for pregnant women as they also look after the health of their children. There is a six-month window when newborns cannot be vaccinated. According to the CDC, if you get vaccinated during pregnancy, your baby also is born with some flu antibodies that will help protect her from flu during the time period where they cannot receive the vaccine themselves.

Although the flu shot cannot offer full protection against the flu virus, it is still the best way to prevent you and those around you from falling ill with this year’s latest flu strain. In addition, even if the flu shot cannot prevent you from contracting the flu, it can lower the severity of the symptoms. For this reason, the flu shot is recommended for everyone except those deemed medically unable to receive the vaccine, such as children under six months old or those with severe allergies to the ingredients used to create the vaccine.

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