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flu vaccine while pregnant: Y/N?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi folks,


I am just about 36 weeks pregnant and considering the flu vaccine. I don't normally get a flu vaccine--I don't work with children, I don't work in an office, and I don't have a regular commute on public transit. On the one hand, I understand that getting the flu while pregnant can be pretty bad...on the other hand, I also understand that the flu vaccine may not even prevent all types of influenza, and hasn't been thoroughly tested to make sure it's safe for pregnant people.


What are you all doing (or not doing) about the flu vaccine?

post #2 of 21

NOT getting it.  The risk (In my opinion) FAR out weighs any alleged benefit.  Especially at 36 weeks, you will not be pregnant through the majority of flu season any way.  I would take other measures to build your immune system and skip the shot. 

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Coming back to add that I found this article on MDC and it's pretty informative...although it has a rather uncomfortable conclusion. I hate all these pregnancy/parenting decisions! irked.gif

post #4 of 21

Yeah, at 36 weeks I probably would just wait til I wasn't pregnant if I wanted it.


I'm 11 weeks and will probably not get it. I've heard lots of mixed things about its efficacy, and I had a minor allergic reaction to the shot last year (first time I got it). I work on a college campus, and have a four year old in preschool, so I do worry quite a bit about flu exposure, but as the previous poster said, I'm not sure that the benefits outweigh the risks.

post #5 of 21

I didn't get it.

post #6 of 21

At 36 weeks I would probably also not get it.


I did get a flu shot when pregnant with DS.  It was the year that H1N1 was thought to be a major risk and of particular risk to pregnant women (in fact, a friend of a friend ended up in a coma on a ventilator and lost her pregnancy due to H1N1) and I was pregnant for the entire flu season (conceived in October).


I am 11 weeks pregnant now and unless there is a major risk again this year I will skip the flu vaccine. 

post #7 of 21

I'm absolutely getting it.  The shot is not a live virus.  It cannot make you sick.  (My pharmacist friend groans about this all the time.)  But do NOT get the nasal spray, it is not safe, because it is live virus.  


ETA:  it is true that it cannot protect you from all strains.  It is the CDC's best estimate of the prevalent strains.  In fact, it has been the same vaccine for the last two years.  I'm not sure about this year though.

post #8 of 21

If you are pregnant you should NOT get this vaccine. There is a link between the vaccine and miscarriage. http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/study-confirms-anecdotal-link-between-flu-vax-and-miscarriage/


Also, my BS degree is in Respiratory Therapy and I worked in the ICU for several years. Not once did I get the flu vaccine and not once did I come down with the flu. However, many of my co-workers did and they did get sick with the flu. Not from the vaccine but because it does lower your immune system and there are many different strands of the flu floating around. I would never get a vaccine while pregnant.

post #9 of 21
I normally do get the flu vaccine as I work in a high risk job but I didn't get it either year I was pregnant. I don't feel there has been sufficient testing on its use in pregnant women.

And yes, I am we'll aware that the flu vax doesn't give you the flu - that is not my concern. I've also never had a negative reaction to any vaccine and the only time I've had flu after getting the vax was the year I got H1N1 and I'd only had the seasonal flu vax. It was the first year H1N1 appeared and I was working in ED seeing a lot of infected patients.
post #10 of 21

I would not get it.

post #11 of 21

I am 17 weeks and not getting it, despite my doctor REALLY pushing for it.  I've never had the flu vax in my life and don't want to start now. I've been in the same high risk profession for 8+ years and haven't got the flu.

post #12 of 21

Having the flu can induce miscarriage as well.  The primary problem was with the H1N1 vaccine; however, getting H1N1 also caused maternal and fetal death.  Does anyone have the golden answer to this?  No.  


The upshot is that you have to weigh the risks and benefits for yourself (and no one should tell you that you are wrong for doing so.)  But based on the obstetrics data and the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) database, I'm personally going to get it.  



ETA:  Lest I come off as argumentative, (which is not my intent) my two cents is worth...two cents.  :)  

Edited by Espion - 10/12/12 at 8:43am
post #13 of 21

I'm getting it, but I probably wouldnt if I was as far along as you. I dont go many places in the last four weeks, it's hard to get flu from your own couch :)

post #14 of 21

Okay, but people, you can't miscarry at 36 weeks. If she got the flu, it is likely they will induce labour.


If you're looking for personal experiences: I got the flu shot at 35 weeks! It was fine. For what that's worth. There was actually a flu going around my workplace when I was 37 weeks. I didn't get the flu, and carried to 40 weeks.

post #15 of 21

Yeah, but if you did get the flu....what a crappy way to labor....I would hate to labor with the flu and then have the flu with a newborn and be worried sick about passing it on. 

post #16 of 21

Never had the shot.  HAVE had a NASTY bout of the flu late in one of my pregnancies (about 36 weeks) and it was a miserable almost 2 weeks, but I'd much rather get it than rely on a vaccination.  I'm just not comfortable with the shot at all.

post #17 of 21

I agree, u r already 36 weeks so i would just hold off on it

post #18 of 21

I'll go ahead and be the odd one out:


I have always had really good experiences with flu shots (they always seem to work for me, they don't hurt at all, and I've never had a reaction to one, and in the past 20 years or so, have only gotten the flu once), so I always get them.  In general, I tend to be a sickly person, and catch everything, so it's nice to have a reprieve from that.   


Last time I was pregnant, I was working in schools, mainly in Special Ed (a notorious place to catch weird illnesses), rode around on public transit daily, and so on.  I even got scabies that year (uggh!).  That was also the year half the school came down with H1N1.  For me, catching the flu was about the last thing I wanted to do, at a time in my life when all effective treatments were effectively off-limits, and what working mother wants to squander valuable sick leave on random illnesses when you know you will need to save up every scrap you can get for maternity leave?  


Long story short, I got the shot, didn't get sick, and am grateful for that. 

post #19 of 21

I usually get the shot too, and had both seasonal and H1N1 with my last pregnancy.  I will probably get one this year too.  I like the idea that getting the shot offers baby some immunity too.  Nothing I've read has convinced me that the flu shot is unsafe, and I tend to follow the science (which is why I breastfeed and am planning a homebirth, etc.).

post #20 of 21

No flu shot for me. The few times I have gotten it, I've had terrible reactions - pain in my arm for nearly a week, flue like symptoms that lasted weeks including fever, chills, nausea, headaches, etc. The research I've done hasn't convinced me that it *IS* safe, especially during pregnancy, I own a busy retail business and rarely get sick and have only had the flu a couple of times in my life so I feel safer skipping the vaccine and doing my best to boost my immune system as much as I can. 


For what it's worth, I read a study that showed there was a 700% increase in m/c in women who were given the H1N1 vaccine a few years ago vrs women who did not get the vax - so while getting the flu can certainly cause m/c, you still only have a small % chance of actually getting the flu each year but intentionally getting the vaccine with a risk increase like that seems illogical.


Like everyone else has said, this is just my opinion on the matter and every one has to make the decision based on their own personal circumstances, like everything else in life.


Another anecdotal point to consider, have you noticed how you can get a flu shot literally anywhere? Grocery stores, department stores, Costco, literally anywhere. Why?? Because it makes those places money. It's a billion dollar industry every year.

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