Doctors still encourage flu shots during pregnancy, despite study between flu and miscarriage

PEORIA, Ill. - Tis the season for the flu. Doctors are recommending you get a flu shot before it's too late.

This as CDC researchers looked at women who miscarried who had a flu shot to understand if there is any link. However, doctors don't want people to panic and not get vaccinated, with flu season just around the corner.

"People say 'I feel like I got ran over by a car and then the car backed up over me.'" Dr. Brian Curtis explains.

From a high fever to body aches, the flu hits hard and the season for it is upon us.

"It's even more important now for everybody to go get a flu shot and if you can't get a flu shot, have the people around you get a flu shot." Dr. Curtis says.

Some medical experts are forecasting this year's flu season to be bad. The prediction is made by looking at our neighbors with opposite seasons on the other side of the world.

"In Australia they're having a bad flu season, so they've had twice as many cases and 53 deaths, which is double what they had last year so that does concern us." Dr. Curtis says.

Dr. Curtis recommends anyone over the age of six months get a flu shot by the end of October.

This, as a CDC-funded study finds women who had miscarriages were more likely to have had back-to-back annual flu shots that included protection against swine flu.

Still, medical experts warn the evidence is weak and may even be a fluke based on a very small number of cases.

Past studies have found flue vaccines are safe during pregnancy.

"They found an association and an association doesn't mean one thing caused another, it just means we need to look into it more deeply." Director of Obstetrics at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Dr. Michael Leonardi, says.

The flu is more dangerous to expectant mothers because pregnancy changes how the heart and lungs work. Women who get the flu while pregnant are more likely to get admitted to the intensive care unit.

Simply put, Dr. Leonardi says to get a flu shot before the flu gets you.

"When you balance the risks and benefits, the benefit of protecting the patient and her unborn fetus and her baby after birth far outweighs any potential risk from the flu vaccine." Dr. Leonardi explains.

The immunity vaccinated expectant mothers build up is then passed on to the developing baby, that continues to protect the baby even after it's born.

 


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