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Why Pregnant Women Need to Get a Flu Vaccine - Healthy T1ps

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Why Pregnant Women Need to Get a Flu Vaccine - Healthy T1ps

If you are currently pregnant, a flu vaccine might be one thing you need to do. Not only for your health, but especially for babies in your womb. If the mother gets a flu vaccine during pregnancy, the baby will also be protected from influenza in the first 6 months of their lives. This discovery makes flu vaccines for pregnant women a priority for public health.

Why are flu vaccines needed when pregnant?

Let's start by knowing what flu is. Flu, or influenza, is a viral disease that causes you to experience various symptoms such as body aches, chills, fever, weakness and diarrhea. This disease can end in a week, but it can also be more. In fact, in the most severe cases, it can cause death. Flu viruses are more likely to attack pregnant women than women who do not. Changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make women who are pregnant (or have just given birth) become more susceptible to this virus. Having a cold while pregnant can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy, including premature birth.

The flu vaccine itself is specifically very important for children under 5 years old, adults over 65 years old, and of course pregnant women. However, the problem is that babies under 6 months cannot get this vaccine. That is why the discovery of protecting babies from flu during the first 6 months of their lives due to flu vaccines received by their mothers during pregnancy is very useful to implement.

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What effect does a flu vaccine have on pregnancy on baby's health?

Scientists from the University of Utah School of Medicine examined 245,000 pregnant women and 249,000 babies during the flu season between December 2005 and March 2014. Infants who participated in the study included babies born twins, triplets, or even more. That is why the number of babies in this study is more than the number of pregnant women who participated in this study. Of the 245,000 pregnant women, only 10% of them (or 23,383 people) received flu vaccines during their pregnancy. The rest (around 222,003 people) did not receive the flu vaccine during pregnancy.
Why Pregnant Women Need to Get a Flu Vaccine - Healthy T1ps
In infants alone, as many as 658 babies are diagnosed with the flu. Surprisingly, 97% of these babies (or 638 of them) were born to mothers who did not get a flu vaccine during pregnancy. 151 of these 658 babies even had to be hospitalized, and 148 of the infants admitted to this hospital were born to mothers who did not receive the flu vaccine during pregnancy. Scientists also got data that flu vaccines received by pregnant women lowered the risk of the baby contracting the flu by 70% and lowered the risk of the baby having to be hospitalized due to flu by 80% compared to pregnant women who did not receive the flu vaccine.

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To ascertain this discovery, researchers tried to compare the effects of flu vaccines in pregnant women with the occurrence of RSV disease (respiratory syncytial virus) in infants. RSV itself is a respiratory tract disease that can occur in infants. And it turns out, there is no effect from the flu vaccine with the risk of the baby being exposed to the RSV. Which means, it can be ascertained that the reduced risk of getting flu in babies born to mothers who receive the flu vaccine results from the effects of the flu vaccine itself.

Unfortunately, many pregnant women don't ask for the flu vaccine

Indeed, pregnant women are one of the easy targets for flu viruses if they are spreading. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, only about 10% of pregnant women get the flu vaccine. Fortunately, from June 2009 to September 2010, when the H1N1 virus was spreading to cause pandemics throughout the world, the number of pregnant women who received the flu vaccine increased. The latest data, around 50% of pregnant women are reported to have carried out flu vaccines. However, this is not enough. Scientists hope, given the evidence of the importance of flu vaccines for the baby, almost 100% of all pregnant women should get the flu vaccine.

Scientists strongly recommend that pregnant women get a flu vaccine. At present, obstetricians and pediatricians are starting to work to promote flu vaccines for pregnant women. Scientists are continuing to monitor how the collaboration of these two types of doctors is to increase the number of pregnant women receiving flu vaccines.