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teamviddy 08-25-2014 08:51 AM

Flu Shots
I work in healthcare so these are pretty much required. Has anyone heard anything about the safety of flu shots during pregnancy?

indiana 08-25-2014 10:41 AM

I haven't seen anything about the vaccination itself being dangerous, but I have heard that actually getting the flu during pregnancy can increase the baby's risk of developing certain forms of mental illness:

This all confuses me, a little. The flu shot is recommended for all pregnant or planning-to-become-pregnant women for this reason (among others). But since studies suggest that it's the mother's immune response - not the virus itself - that does damage to the baby's brain, how can we be sure that the body's immune response to the vaccination doesn't cause harm? I can't find any studies comparing pregnant women who got the flu shot with pregnant women who contracted the flu. I imagine it has something to do with the immune response to a vaccine being far less intense than to a full-blown illness. And maybe something to do with WHICH inflammatory responses are triggered for an actual infection vs. a vaccination.

Anyway, food for thought. And if anybody finds more about this, I'd love to hear it, too.

indiana 08-25-2014 11:33 AM

I want to follow up my last post so I don't sound alarmist. Only one percent of the population has bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and the risk is largely contingent upon existing genetic predisposition (and not everyone with the genetic markers gets it, by any means), so for MOST people, a fourfold to sevenfold increase in risk is still a very, very small number.

Rosemarino 08-25-2014 11:39 AM

I always get a flu shot during pregnancy. It's recommended. I also get the Dtap because then baby can skip the first dose.

Yaliina 08-27-2014 09:06 PM

I work in healthcare, too, and I have never had a flu shot. I refuse on "religious" grounds (not their business what religion, so I just leave it at that). Of course, they try to bully you into getting it anyway by forcing you to wear a mask at all times while at work if you don't get the shot. Fortunately, our office manager also refuses the shot, as do several of the nurses & front office staff, and so we all just go around with masks on for a few months, or we just don't and hope the hospital "police" don't notice.

I haven't had the flu in years, so it seems contrary to me that I should purposely infect myself with it in order to prevent getting it. Especially since we're never sure how accurate the strains will be. My colleague is always the first in line to get hers, and her kids, too. Year before last, they all go the flu (after being vaccinated), but I never did. So, I really think it's more about natural immunity, good hygiene, and luck than getting a shot. That being said, if you feel you are at increased risk, or you get the flu regularly, by all means, get the vaccination. Just find out whether the inactivated one or the live-virus one is safer during pregnancy. I'd guess the shot, but you should look it up.

As for "studies' and "reports" about vaccines, I'm always leery of their findings. For one, a surprising majority of them are somehow funded by the pharmaceutical companies that make the drugs. For another, IMHO, there is a lot of fear-mongering that goes on with regards to vaccines. Maybe I'm a paranoid conspiracy nut, but I really think it's suspicious. I'm not anti-vaccination, so don't get me wrong. They are wonderful, and if they work out that Ebola vaccine, and it looks like that is something we need in our country, I would seriously consider getting it. But I really don't see the need to vaccinate a newborn for Hep B, or an American (not traveling) for Polio. The incidence is just too low. You have to make informed decisions. If you're at risk for the disease, look at the vaccine & see if the potenti al side effects are worth the protection. No vaccine is 100% effective, so take that into account, too. And if you think your risk for contracting the disease is really low, or the consequences of contracting the disease are minor, you should take that into consideration as well. My DH is trying to convince me to get the boys vaccinated with a bunch of different ones before the baby comes, but so far he hasn't completely convinced me. I might acquiesce, though. And that's my book about vaccinations, lol.

LexiDrewMama 08-28-2014 01:39 PM

I also work in health care....specifically an urgent care. I NEVER got a flu shot before this job and totally wanted to refuse last year, but my job is quite serious about no shot=wear a mask for your entire shift. The stupid masks make my glasses fog, they stink, and I feel claustrophobic so I gave in. I KNOW the flu shot doesn't totally protect you but when we had TONS of positive flu swabs I actually felt a tiny bit protected haha. I am leery of getting it while pregnant but once again I can't handle the stupid mask so I will be giving in this year too.

teamviddy 08-28-2014 02:56 PM

OK, I just got the listing for this year. I am not sure if this is the same shot they give across the country, but I am glad to know what ours will be this year.

Vaccine Strains for the 2014-15 Season

• A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
• A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus
• B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus
• B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

I am an office worker but I do interface with patients and families regularly... I can refuse on religious grounds but it is definitely frowned upon.

Yaliina 08-28-2014 07:56 PM

Like I said, each unto his (or her) own. If it's worth it to you, then do it & you shouldn't feel like you have to justify your decision. One of our docs who was dead-set against it finally gave in this past year. I won't, but I'm stubborn like that. ;)

Frioct3 09-13-2014 04:14 PM

I will definitely be getting the flu shot this year. While I'm generally healthy and I've only had one mild case of the flu in the past I definitely don't want to get it while pregnant! Its not a super effective vaccine but it does help.

I'm on the fence about whether to ask the grandparents who will be seeing baby regularly to get it since I'm due toward the end of march when the season is pretty much over in my area.

PortlandRose 09-20-2014 08:23 AM

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Indiana, I think that because the vaccine is not with a live virus the immune response to the shot is different than the immune response to the actual illness. I just got my shot a couple days ago. I'm a substitute teacher and always around sick kids or in rooms where the teacher was sick the day before. The dr office said make sure you don't get the intranasal vaccine since that is a live virus and not recommended for pregnancy. It's all about weighing risks. You do what you think is best. I live in one of the lowest vaccinated states so I don't want to risk my health.

teamviddy 10-02-2014 05:29 AM

I ended up getting it. Ran it past my OB and I think it will help if I have to have a hospital birth in March. DH will be getting it too.

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