Can the flu shot cause a pregnant woman to miscarry?
This is a question commonly asked by moms-to-be (and others), and the answer is no. Such a reply is supported by a recent study presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This new study examined the flu seasons of 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 individually and together, making the new study population three times larger than studies they conducted on the 2010-11 or 2011-12 flu seasons. They found that there was no evidence of increased miscarriage risk after flu vaccination during the first 28 days of pregnancy. Also, there was no significant evidence of a relationship between miscarriage and flu vaccination in the 29-56-day risk window.
Overall, the CDC emphasizes the importance of a flu vaccination during pregnancy. We know that due to changes in the immune system, heart and lungs, pregnant women are more likely to suffer from severe illness related to the flu than women of the same age who are not pregnant. Beyond that, they can also pass antibodies onto the baby. Babies cannot get vaccinated until they are six months old, so getting a flu shot can help protect mom and baby. For more information from the CDC, download their pregnancy flu shot fact sheet.
Ahead of the 2018-2019 flu season, we posted about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and their 2018-2019 flu vaccination recommendations. At Burdett Birth Center, we offer the flu shot to staff and recommend family members make appointments to be vaccinated before the birth of new babies. We also recommend that parents contact their children’s childcare facilities to request all staff be immunized, if they haven’t been already.