Top 3 Reasons to Get Flu Shot in third Trimester of Pregnancy

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We’ve identified for a while that getting vaccinated throughout being pregnant can defend infants throughout these first few months of life once they’re most susceptible. This is essential as a result of some vaccines will not be out there for infants lower than six months of age, together with the flu vaccine. But what we haven’t identified is how efficient it’s for infants to obtain the vaccine in utero, and when it’s handiest to offer throughout being pregnant.

Answering these unknowns was the motivation for a current examine revealed in JAMA Pediatrics, for which my colleague, Mary Staat, MD, MPH, and I had been co-authors. Because Cincinnati Children’s is part of the CDC’s New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN), we will have a look at the information from consenting sufferers coming into clinics, emergency rooms, and hospitals with respiratory and gastrointestinal sicknesses. So for this examine, we checked out nationwide information from greater than 3,700 infants to see what number of entered ERs for flu-related problems; and for many who did, we labored backwards to see if and when their moms had been vaccinated towards the flu throughout being pregnant.

We discovered that for the moms who acquired vaccinated throughout being pregnant, the flu vaccine was handiest when given within the third trimester and helped these infants youthful than three months of age essentially the most. In truth, it lowered the chance of flu in infants youthful than six months by one-third, and flu-related hospitalizations by 40 p.c.  

Any given winter, flu-related problems are widespread. As many as 9 p.c of all infants lower than six months of age could require a go to to a clinic, ER or hospital ward. And with solely half of the pregnant individuals receiving the flu vaccine each on this examine and nationally, we’re lacking a big alternative to enhance the well being outcomes for each mothers and newborns. That’s why I’d prefer to share some further data to assist them make knowledgeable choices about receiving the flu vaccine within the third trimester:

Top 3 Reasons to Get the Flu Shot in Third Trimester

1. Babies Get More Antibodies

When we vaccinate within the third trimester of being pregnant, infants obtain extra antibodies by way of the placenta. It takes about 2-4 weeks for our our bodies to make antibodies, so infants in utero will obtain essentially the most proper earlier than they’re born, thus defending them extra. Again, that is necessary as a result of they’re most susceptible to flu problems and hospitalizations throughout these first few months of life.

2. We Can’t Predict Which Babies Will Have Severe Flu Complications

Influenza is a difficult virus as a result of it modifications from yr to yr. Further, some infants get flu and are advantageous, and others will want the intensive care unit (ICU). We at present haven’t any dependable manner of predicting which of them will merely get a fever and which of them will want oxygen and different assist within the hospital.

3. It’s a Win-Win

It’s a win-win as a result of the flu shot protects each infants and pregnant individuals. They are extra probably than non-pregnant individuals to have flu problems, akin to hospitalizations, untimely births, and being pregnant loss. We suppose this may be resulting from their decreased lung capability and immune techniques not functioning fairly the identical as when they aren’t pregnant.

The finest timing throughout being pregnant to get the flu shot is a bit difficult, particularly in the event that they’re of their first or second trimesters throughout peak flu season. We don’t need to delay the shot throughout this era; but we additionally need their child to get the absolute best safety. So we plan to check methods to steadiness this, which might embrace the opportunity of a number of doses. For now, pregnant individuals ought to focus on flu shot timing with their docs.

At first look, this examine would possibly look like previous information. However, that is the primary time we’ve been in a position to say what timeframe is finest to vaccinate throughout being pregnant with the intention to defend infants and simply how efficient it’s for infants. The CDC estimates that the flu triggered anyplace between 100,000-710,000 hospitalizations every year between 2010-2022, and vaccination is the simplest and finest strategy to defend our infants throughout these first few months of life. Receiving a flu vaccination throughout being pregnant is simply as necessary as RSV, Tdap, and COVID vaccines (relying on the time of yr).

To be taught extra about Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children’s, or to schedule an appointment, please name 513-636-4578.

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