Flu Shot During Pregnancy - West Mifflin,PA

Updated on November 02, 2010
J.J. asks from West Mifflin, PA
25 answers

So I am 32 weeks pregnant, and my doctor wants me to take the flu vaccine. I have been researching both sides of the argument and I'm very confused and worried. One on end, I read about pregnant women who get the flu and can have severe complications. On the other end of the spectrum, I read about people who have suffered from miscarriages and stillborns after taking the vaccine. I have no idea what to do. Any advice? Has anyone taken the flu vaccine this year and they are pregnant?

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answers from Los Angeles on

I got the flu shot at my 38 week appointment in my OBs office. She recommended it since my baby will be too young to get the shot herself this winter.

I had no complications and delivered a healthy baby girl on Tuesday. : )

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

I got the flu shot with all three of my pregnancies. I never had any problems or side effects as a result of getting the shot. My kids are all fine and healthy.



answers from Chicago on

I got the H1N1 and the flu vaccine last winter at 30 weeks. I'm glad I did, too, because hubby ended up with the flu!

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answers from Missoula on

I would get the shot. I did with my last pregnancy and with this one, I'm 19 weeks along now, and baby is healthy. The risks from the flu itself greatly outweigh your risk of complications from the vaccine. I'm not sure where your information is coming from, but I have read at least one "study" linking the flu vaccine to an increase in miscarriage that was totally bogus, the title was something like "Flu Vaccine Caused 3587 Miscarriages & Stillbirths". The "science" was terribly flawed and proved nothing. Just because 2 events happened in a particular time frame doesn't mean that one caused the other. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet, posted by people with some agenda or another.
Good luck with your decision. Please consider your sources carefully.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I know that they recommend pregnant women get the vaccine, but an article in a well known journal (can't remember, maybe the American Academy of Pediatrics?) was just published linking the combo vaccine (flu + h1n1) with miscarriages, and with other major problems in children. The h1n1 vaccine was just developed. There have been no clinical trials - we are the trial. I am not willing to be a guinea pig. The flu vaccine by itself has been through testing and has been used for many years and proven safe, however not so with the new combo. I would see if you can get just the flu vaccine. My son's OT said last year, only 30% of healthcare workers got the combo vaccine because they were very concerned about the risks. This is from a woman who is very pro-vaccination. She also told me about a very small town that had 4 pregnant women. All 4 got the combo vaccine, and 3 of them miscarried. I think this was included in the article. Good for you for researching this! Congrats on the pregnancy!!!


answers from Pocatello on

I got flu shots both times I was pregnant. Never had any complications or side effects. I never even knew that it could be bad. Always thought it was a good thing to do while pregnant. I mean it's up to you but I'm pretty sure it's safe.



answers from Philadelphia on

I'm 32 years old and was a teacher before becoming a SAHM. I have never had a flu shot & I've never had the flu (at least not as an adult, I may have had it as a child, but I don't remember it). I had 2 pregnancies & no flu shot & no flu.
Very few Americans actually get the flu. And even fewer are hospitalized. I just looked it up and ONLY 0.067% of the US population was hospitalized due to flu RELATED symptoms. Most people who are hospitalized due to the flu are hospitalized b/c they already have a healthy problem which is made worse by the flu. (Ex. People with asthma or heart problems).
In my opinion, the flu vaccine is a waste & possibly a danger for healthy people. First, the vaccine is made with just a few of the hundreds of versions of flu virus that exist. Those that are chosen to be included are chosen based on GUESSES by the scientists. There have been years in which NONE of the viruses included in the vaccine appeared that year. Which means the shot provided NO protection to those who got it. Second, the vaccine only provides protection for one season. Which means every season you would have to get another. The flu vaccine is made with a number of preservatives, including mercury. (It can be very hard to find one w/o mercury. And even if you do, there are other preservatives that will still be in there.) I didn't think it was worthwhile to expose my babies to those preservatives. (I still haven't. My kids ( 3yrs and 20 months) have been vaccinated for everything except flu & chicken pox).
I too have heard about miscarriages & still borns after getting H1N1 flu vaccine. I don't know if they are truly related. However, I personally would not take the risk. UNLESS you already have a health issue (asthma, heart problems, seizures, aids, hiv, etc) which puts you at risk for hospitalization if you got the flu. Then it would be worth the risk. Otherwise, eat well, get plenty of rest & carry hand sanitizer with you every where you go.
If you are really concerned, you could ask your spouse & any other family members you spend a lot of time with to get the flu shot. They don't have the miscarriage risk & if they don't catch the flu, you are less likely to.
Good luck


answers from Erie on

I got a flu shot (and H1N1 last year) with both of my pregnancies and never had any issues.



answers from Philadelphia on

I'm in the same boat as you and 31 weeks preg. Not sure if I should get it or not. My OB didn't ask me about it and I forgot to ask myself. I didn't get one with my first pregnancy and I delivered at the end of February. I'm a SAHM so I'm not around people much and hubby got the flu shot this week. I'll have to ask my Dr. when I go in 2 weeks.



answers from Atlanta on

Just FYI: The flu vaccine that is being used right now is distributed in a vial of 10 doses. It is meant to be given sequencially, like in a school where kids are in line, one right after the other. A vaccine should be given, the vial should be shaken 5 times and then the next vaccine should be given. This is information I recieved from the nurse that gives the vaccine. The problem with the doctor's office or the "drive-by" vaccine stores is that you don't know what part of the vaccine you are getting because it is not being administered properly, as the pharmaceutical company has instructed.

I personally think that the preservatives in the vaccines are more dangerous than the protection that you possibly could get from an innoculation. Ultimately it is everyone's choice but my recommendation is to dodge it.
Good prenatal vitamins (not all are good, even the pharmaceutical ones) are a must. Make sure they are absorbable. I can recommend one if you like.

God bless and Congratulations!




answers from Washington DC on

I got a flu shot while I was 20 weeks pregnant. I had no problems whatsoever. The doctor said it was safe so I went along with it. I did get the flu at about 34 weeks. I was MISERABLE but there was nothing I could do. I stayed home and refused to take Tylenol. I ended up taking some Tylenol because I could not take it anymore! I was not happy with the idea of taking meds because I went through the entire pregnancy without any drugs. My daughter is fine and so am I. I would not worry too much about it but it is your choice. Tell your doctor your concerns. HUGS!!!!



answers from Denver on

Go to nvic.org and get info on the ingredients. Many have mercury in them which does pass the placental berrier. You and your doctor cannot guarantee how it will effect you or your baby in the short and long term. UIts much better for your baby and your body to raise your immune system naturally. FYI: the flu (along with theswine flu) cannot survive in a vit d rich environment. Vit D is also excellent for fetal growth and a good pregnancy.


answers from York on

I was in my first trimester during the time to get flu shots. I did NOT get a flu shot and I do not regret my decision. I would not recommend getting a flu shot during pregnancy.


answers from Allentown on

Hi, J.:
Take your vitamins, stay warm, stay away from sick folks and
get through your pregnancy well. After you have your baby, then you
can think about a flu shot.

Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

I did not get the flu shot last year when I was pregnant, but I did get the flu! It wasn't fun, but I got through it just fine(lots of vitamin C) and my healthy baby girl was born a little over a month later.
I don't like the flu vaccines, but it is really hard to find any non-biased information out there on it. People are usually for or against it and there really doesn't seem to be any research either way to support one side or the other- just anecdotal evidence. If you don't feel completely at ease taking the vaccine and are otherwise a healthy person- I wouldn't take it. But, if you would feel better just getting the vaccine or have had the flu every year or aren't that healthy- it might be better to go ahead and get it.
Talk to your doctor some more and then find another doctor from the other side(hahha- that sounds like he would be evil!) and see why he differs in opinion.
I probably didn't help too much- sorry! I just think the best thing is to be as informed as possible on both sides of the issue before making your decision.
Good Luck!



answers from Cleveland on

I had both shots last year with no problems. It is much more dangerous to get the illness than to take the shot and even if you did get it, it would be reduced symptoms.


answers from Philadelphia on

I got my flu shot while pregnant and I turned out fine. I had a sore spot on my arm for a day and a half and it wasn't that bad. The flu shot doesn't contain a live virus (it's in dead form) so there's no real risk of "getting" the flu from it. I haven't heard of miscarrying or stillbirth from the flu shot though. My son turned out very healthy and if you do get the flu shot, your baby will be protected for this season from the antibodies you pass on to it (especially if you breastfeed).



answers from Harrisburg on

Take care of yourself, eat well, drink clean water, get the rest you need, and don't get the vaccine. Your body will be able to handle it if you are exposed to something as long as you wash hands and are well nourished. You have only about 8 weeks to go and don't want to spend it worrying about a complication from an elective vaccine. My father-in-law had it and it made him sick. Lots of the flus going around are on the mild side anyway.

I do recommend Oscillococcinum a homeopathic medicine. It works if you take it at the first symptoms, in fact I haven't had the flu in years since knowing about it. Get yourself some so you have it on hand just in case.




answers from Philadelphia on

You do not have to take the vaccine if you are not comfortable with it. I did not do it when i was pregnant and everything was fine. If you are around alot of people then make sure to wash your hands all of the time. That is the best way of lessening the spread of germs. If you are not comfortable with it,do not do it. The doctor can not hold you down and make you do so. The last time I had the flu shot was in 1998 and I got the flu in spite of it. I have not had the shot since and I had not had the flu since. Take care and god bless.


answers from Rochester on

I just got mine yesterday and am 21 weeks pregnant. My doctor did say that the shot was changed this year because of a concern about one component (not part of the vaccine, but something in it) but it is fine for pregnant women. I had never heard of any direct complications but would only be getting it at my obstetrician's office, not a pharmacy clinic. Your doctor will make sure you get the appropriate shot. I also get one every year because I have young kids, one with asthma, and a husband with asthma. Ultimately, it is very individual, just as it is with kids, but for me no risks outweigh the benefits.



answers from Los Angeles on

I got the flu shot with H1-N1 when I was 17 weeks pregnant at my OB's recommendation. She said to only get the vaccine that is mercury-free, which can be a bit tough to find. I called around to the local drug stores and found it at Walgreen's.

The shot made my arm a little warm and sore at the injection site, but otherwise I was fine. The vaccine has a dead virus in it, so there is no chance it will give you the flu.

People who say they had the flu but it "wasn't that bad" and they got over it fast probably just had a common cold. I had the flu once. It hit me like a freight train and had me sleeping 18 hours a day. I ended up with pneumonia and on three different courses of antibiotics. Even after that experience, I never got flu shots because I'm pretty healthy and have a strong immune system. But, I didn't want to take any risks with my little one, so I got it just for him.



answers from Madison on

I got the flu shot when I was pregnant with both of my kids, and no complications with either and 2 very healthy little ones! I got very very sick (not the flu) while pregnant with my second child, had a fever of 104 for a week, and all I can say is that was by far more scary to be that sick and pregnant than it was to get the flu shot!


answers from Seattle on

hmmm...I haven't seen anything about misscarriages, but now you have me worried!! I asked my son's pediatricain today about that and he said that we (as I am 30 weeks prego!) are the highest risk group and most OB's now carry the flu vaccine. He said that when pregnant women get the flu they can actually be the most seriously affected (like an elderly person) which can result in complications. I will be asking my OB on monday what he thinks, but i was resolved to get the shot until I read your post!!



answers from Pittsburgh on

I highly recommend it - it protects you when you are most vulnerable (you can't take much in the way of meds if pregnant when you get it) AND your baby will benefit as he/she can't get a flu shot until they are 6 months old. If you are going to deliver in the midst of flu season, it makes sense to get it now. The other thing to ask for is a thimerosol-free shot - it can be hard to find, but exists. It is mercury free and is a single dose instead of reused for multiple patients. I had it with both kids and I'm very happy with the results!


I highly recommend it - it protects you when you are most vulnerable (you can't take much in the way of meds if pregnant when you get it) AND your baby will benefit as he/she can't get a flu shot until they are 6 months old. If you are going to deliver in the midst of flu season, it makes sense to get it now. The other thing to ask for is a thimerosol-free shot - it can be hard to find, but exists. It is mercury free and is a single dose instead of reused for multiple patients. I had it with both kids and I'm very happy with the results!



answers from Philadelphia on

get your flu shot and if you are worried, get the preservative free one. check with local pharmacies to se who has it.

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