Good news for flu-fearing moms-to-be: a massive new study confirms that the flu shot is perfectly safe for pregnant women, and could even reduce the risk of miscarriage and other complications.
Researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) reviewed the medical records of 113,331 women pregnant in Norway during the 2009-2010 flu pandemic. While 2,794 expectant mothers were diagnosed with influenza, those who got the flu vaccination were about 70 percent less likely to get sick. However, women who contracted the flu while they were pregnant were more almost twice as likely to lose their babies before birth.
While thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no firm proof that the flu directly causes a woman to miscarry or deliver a stillborn baby, the virus does appear to have a harmful effect on the fetus, according to Allen Wilcox, M.D., head the Reproductive Epidemiology Group at The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and study co-author.
That said, faulty research and hype about vaccine safety has made some pregnant women skeptical about protecting themselves from the flu. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is no evidence of harm from the vaccine, and plenty of evidence of benefit,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Wilcox. No wonder the World Health Organization has recommended it for years.
Wilcox says the vaccine can protect pregnant women in any trimester, the sooner the better. To locate the nearest available flu shot and schedule an appointment pronto: download the free TalkTo app or visit Talkto.com, type in Ã¢â‚¬Å“flu shotÃ¢â‚¬Â and your location, and text the closest pharmacy or doctorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get a response within minutes.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s everything else you need to know to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the flu:
Flu Update from the CDC
Could This Be the Worst Flu Season EVER?
Should You Get the New Flu Shot?
5 Times You Should Call in Sick to Work
The Anti-Flu Drug That Might Not Work
Germ-Proof Your Office
6 Ways to Fight the Flu
What Causes the Flu?
Your Body OnÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ The Flu
Discover surprising walking tips, tricks, and techniques to melt fat fast and get a tighter, firmer butt with Walk Your Butt Off! Buy it now!