Originally Posted by wendizbaby
If I was high-risk I would look at the flu vaccine completely different.
I think the argument, though, is that just being pregnant makes you high-risk because your body is investing all of its energy into making your baby and very little into protecting you against disease. I'm pretty sure that nursing also takes energy away from your immune system, but I'm not positive (I know lactation is associated with a decrease in immune function in other mammals, but don't know a ton about human immunity.) And again, you can't pass on antibodies that you don't have so breastfeeding only helps in the sense that you're giving your child the best nutrition possible - you can't protect him against the flu if you haven't had it yourself.
Also, only the nasal spray uses a (attenuated) live virus (but no thimerosal). The shot uses a killed virus (and may or may not have thimerosal - if you request a single-shot, you can avoid it). I'm not sure if they offer one or the other in particular for pregnant women...
My only concern is...my son goes to school and he does bring home stuff from time to time. The baby will be born in December during flu season. If I get the flu shot, isn't it true that the baby is also protected when he is born for up to 6 months???
This is a good question. The shot causes you to produce antibodies against the strains that they include in the vaccine so in theory you should be passing those antibodies onto your baby when you breastfeed. ... in theory. If anybody knows more about the effectiveness of passing on antibodies produced in response to a vaccine, I'd be interested in seeing some links. You are protecting him in the sense that you are less likely to get the flu. I'm not sure about the CDC, but WHO actually recommends the entire family of an infant be vaccinated - because obviously your son or husband could get infected at work and bring it home - and infants are highly susceptible and are highly likely to need hospitalization if they get it.
But you also have to think about one of the points that wendizbaby brought up - the CDC is just guessing which strains will be the most prevalent. The vaccine is very, very good at protecting against those strains. But there are always other strains out there. Overall, I think the vaccine reduces influenza prevalence by 25%. That's not that great. Is it better than nothing? That's where the personal decision making comes in. My personal opinion is that the risk of this vaccine is very, very low and the protection is moderate. I'll probably get it. But if you're afraid of the risks, you're probably not losing a ton of protection.