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When I was pregnant, I remember thinking it was extra important to get a flu shot to protect my own health. But as it turns out, it’s not just moms-to-be who benefit from the vaccine: Newborn babies also gain some health protection, according to a study released this week in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Research revealed that brand-new babes whose moms were vaccinated while pregnant have less of a chance of getting the flu themselves or being hospitalized with a respiratory infection than newborns whose moms weren't vaccinated.
The study was conducted on Navajo and White Mountain Apache Indian reservations, where children have higher rates of severe respiratory infection than the general population. The findings showed that those infants whose mothers were vaccinated had a 41 percent lower risk of lab-confirmed influenza virus infection and a 39 percent reduced risk of hospitalization from influenza-like illness.
That’s good news, considering that babies can’t be vaccinated until six months, and especially given the emergence of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus, which had a big impact on pregnant women and high hospitalization rates among young infants. Yet another reason to get your flu shot. Today.
Are you pregnant and planning to get a flu shot? Chime in below!