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HHS HealthBeat (November 27, 2013)

Pregnant moms, babies, and flu shots

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

The flu can be especially hard on a pregnant woman or a newborn. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Stacie Greby says that’s because pregnancy changes a woman’s immune system, heart, and lungs. She says those changes can set a woman up for severe complications if they get the flu.

So health experts recommend pregnant women get vaccinated. Greby points out some of the benefits:

“It not only protects them, it protects their unborn child and can protect their newborn child as well – especially since a baby less than 6 months of age cannot be vaccinated.”

Greby says vaccination is safe for mom and baby – and makes things better for both.

A study on pregnancy and flu vaccination is in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Learn more at

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

Last revised: November 27, 2013