Is the flu vaccine safe during pregnancy?
There’s wide consensus among health authorities that when pregnant mothers get the flu vaccine it both reduces any harm from the mother getting flu and provides the child with immunity from the virus for several months after they’re born. The proven benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any speculative risks.
Why do so many other sources say flu vaccines are dangerous for pregnant women?
Because there is widespread misinformation about vaccines in general, and recent confusion about the flu vaccine in particular.
A study published in September 2017 found a potential link between the flu vaccine and early-term miscarriage, but even the authors said the results are inconclusive and the benefits still far outweigh any potential risk.
Other sources have sensationalized the health risks of different ingredients used in vaccines, such as preservatives to keep them from being contaminated, but these concerns are clearly contradicted by rigorous scientific evidence showing the safety of these ingredients.
Why should I trust you?
Our articles are short and direct so parents can quickly get the answers they need, but there’s lengthy research behind everything we publish. If you’d like to check our facts and learn more, here are the best sources we found and used for this article:
- “Pregnant? Get a Flu Shot!” from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- “It is Safe to Receive Flu Shot During Pregnancy,” from The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
- “Duration of Infant Protection Against Influenza Illness Conferred by Maternal Immunization” from the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
- “When Pregnant Women Get Flu Shots, Babies Are Healthier,” from NPR.
- “Pregnant Women Should Still Get The Flu Vaccine, Doctors Advise,” from NPR.
- “Is it safe to get a flu shot during pregnancy?” from The Mayo Clinic.
- “Flu Vaccine Effectiveness: Questions and Answers for Health Professionals,” from the CDC.
- “Association of spontaneous abortion with receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine containing H1N1pdm09 in 2010–11 and 2011–12” from the journal Vaccine.