Flu season is fast approaching and for pregnant women this means taking precautionary steps to prevent contracting this virus. This year it is especially important due to the emergence of novel Coronavirus.
Why Is it more important this year?
Influenza during pregnancy is not a good combination. We know that pregnant women are at greater risk of needing hospital admission, intensive care treatment and even death from ‘the flu’. This year there is a concern that hospital resources may be under tremendous strain with Covid-19, and you may not get the care you normally would.
Addtionally, we are yet to see if these risks are increased if you have both Influenza and Coronavirus. Let’s not wait and see what happens.
The flu shot is the best protection and the vaccine is safe for both you and your baby when given during pregnancy. Everyone who cares for your baby should get a flu shot too, including other household members and relatives.
You can get the flu shot at any time during your pregnancy. It takes at least two weeks to make antibodies after getting a flu vaccine and for pregnant women it might be up to four weeks. Some of these antibodies then pass onto your baby during your pregnancy and may also be passed through breastmilk. This is important because babies less than 6 months of age are too young to get a flu vaccine and these antibodies will help protect your baby from flu in the first few months after birth.
Flu shots are free for pregnant women. While it is recommended that all pregnant women should be vaccinated as early as possible in pregnancy, the best time to have the flu vaccine is in April or May to ensure your protection doesn’t wane before the flu season peaks.
If you would like more information on the flu vaccine, please contact our rooms on 3344-1656, or chat with Dr Elgey at your next appointment.