Docs say flu vaccine safe during pregnancy

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Jan 17: With apprehensions about the safety of flu vaccine in pregnant women, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that flu vaccine is perfectly safe during any stage of pregnancy.
Removing the fears, the DAK president, Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women and their babies. “There is a large body of scientific studies that support the safety of flu vaccine in pregnancy,” he said.
A recent study published in “JAMA Pediatrics” teased apart the doubts and found that the vaccine does not carry any risk to expectant mothers or their babies, said the DAK president, adding that the vaccine poses no risk to women who are breast feeding or their babies.
“Despite recommendations, doctors are not offering flu jabs to expectant mothers putting them as well as their babies at risk. Flu vaccine is especially important to pregnant women who are at greatest risk of complications from the virus. Pregnant women who get the flu are at higher risk of hospitalization, and even death,” he said.
Dr Nisar said the pregnant woman are at increased risk of premature labor and delivery and having a baby with a low birth weight. “There is also a greater risk of birth defects and even death of a baby in the womb. Flu shot protects the mother and the developing baby besides helps protect the baby several months after he or she is born which is important because infants younger than 6 months are too young to get the vaccine,” he said.