Most pregnant women not getting vaccinated — CDC

Australia has just emerged from a flu season that started earlier than usual and was more severe than expected.							John Mahoney  Montreal Gazette

Australia has just emerged from a flu season that started earlier than usual and was more severe than expected. John Mahoney Montreal Gazette

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu vaccines can not cause flu illness.

However, if you miss this deadline, don't give up on the flu shot completely.

"An annual flu shot is the best way to fight the flu each fall and winter", said LFCHD spokesman Kevin Hall. By doing our best to stay well, we reduce the risk to more vulnerable members of our community, including the pregnant women. "Also, if you have symptoms it's important to seek evaluation especially if you have unremitting fever, shortness of breath, are pregnant, or at high-risk for flu complications because of pre-existing medical problems", Adalja said.

Myth: I don't really need a flu vaccine every year. The reason is that your immune protection from the shot does decline over time.

According to the World Health Organization, the flu vaccine is proven to be safe and severe side effects are extremely rare.

The health department says it will continue to offer flu shots from 9 a.m. -3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. -6 p.m. Wednesday in the Public Health Clinic, 650 Newtown Pike, starting October 1.

The authors also found that pregnant women ages 15-44 accounted for 24-34% of flu-related hospitalizations per season, though data shows that only 9% of US women in that age group are pregnant at any given time each year, the authors said.

In a conference call with the media, CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat, MD, said there is room for improving communication between clinicians and pregnant women, and that healthcare providers should ensure that vaccination is a routine part of prenatal care.

Two-thirds of United States women get neither vaccine during pregnancy - and that puts the babies they're carrying at risk of contracting life-threatening infections just after birth. That's because pregnant women who get vaccinated develop antibodies that are then passed on to their baby, protecting the infant in the first few months of life before they can get their own vaccines.

'I suppose one thing to say over the last three seasons, we have seen an increase across all categories of healthcare workers but I would say it isn't high enough.

Keep in mind that Sickweather uses crowdsourcing and social media to make its predictions, but according to the website, the data is "regularly correlated and validated against available data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)".

How long into the flu season will you know that these four strains of flu protected against this vaccine are the right ones to have targeted?

There are also a number of other steps that can protect you like washing your hands frequently, cover a cough/sneeze with a tissue or your elbow, don't share dishes or utensils and avoid people who have the flu.

Even if you are healthy you can benefit from getting the flu shot and it is recommended every year.

Some jurisdictions across Canada are anticipating smaller or later deliveries of the flu shot than normal - which could affect vaccination programs.

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