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HHS HealthBeat (October 31, 2013)

Good shots for pregnancy

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Health experts say all pregnant women should be vaccinated against the flu, but only about half are. Some women might wonder if vaccination would affect the baby, so researchers looked at the 2009 to 2012 flu seasons and data on about 1,1 00 mothers.

At the University of California, San Diego, researcher Christina Chambers:

"Women were vaccinated were no more likely to have a miscarriage and no more likely to have a baby with a birth defect than women who were not vaccinated."

Chambers says unvaccinated pregnant women are more likely to have more complications of influenza if they get sick, more likely to be hospitalized, and even to die.

The study in the journal Vaccine was supported by HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, BARDA.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: October 31, 2013