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Influenza, often known as seasonal flu, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system, including the lungs, nose, and throat. Studies suggest that it is a must for pregnant woman to get a flu vaccine to protect themselves against flu, especially with a hormonal change going on in their body. They are more susceptible to develop serious complications if they are not vaccinated in time. But flu vaccine during pregnancy has also been associated with some risks for the child. So, does getting vaccinated for seasonal flu pose a threat to the unborn child? According to a new study, flu vaccination during pregnancy does not lead to an increased risk of adverse health risks in children. Read all about it here:
A new population-based study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has found that children born to mother who has received seasonal flu vaccination during pregnancy do not experience adverse early childhood health outcomes. In other words, the study suggests that although pregnant women are more susceptible to acquiring influenza, they do not pose a threat to the child.
For the study, the researchers followed 28,000 children from birth to the age of 3.5 years, with the findings indicating that maternal influenza vaccination during pregnancy was not linked to:
Since pregnant women are more vulnerable to influenza infection, they do have a higher risk of severe sickness and problems if they contract the virus while pregnant.
As a result, all pregnant women are encouraged to get a flu vaccination every year, but according to research that tracked four flu seasons in Nova Scotia, just 36% did. People may not obtain influenza vaccine during pregnancy due to safety concerns, according to reports.
Dr Deshayne Fell, an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and a Scientist at the CHEO Research Institute, a paediatric healthcare and research centre said, "This study adds to what we know from other recent studies showing no harmful effects of flu vaccination during pregnancy on the longer-term health of children."
She further explained, "This is important because we know that getting the flu shot during pregnancy not only protects the pregnant person but has the added bonus of protecting newborn babies from getting the flu during their first few months of life, which is when they are most susceptible to respiratory infections but still too young to get the flu shot themselves."
(with inputs from agencies)
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