PA Secretary of Health urges residents to get flu shot

Australia has just emerged from a flu season that started earlier than usual and was more severe than expected.							John Mahoney  Montreal Gazette

Only about a third of pregnant women said they received both the flu shot and the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccines during pregnancy, though both vaccines have been proven safe and effective for pregnant women, CDC researchers said.

The CDC recommends that everyone get a seasonal flu vaccine each year by the end of October, if possible.

The majority of pregnant women do not get vaccinated against the flu or whooping cough, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show.

The CDC states that two thirds of all pregnant women do not receive the flu shot and the Tdap vaccine against whooping cough. Both the flu and whooping cough can be risky for pregnant women and young babies, but according to a new report, the majority of moms-to-be aren't getting the recommended vaccines that can help offer protection.

Every year, we may hear many misconceptions about the flu and the flu shot.

According to experts, the mom's vaccines can protect their babies during a time when the infants are still too young to get vaccinations. "A big reason why women opted out of both vaccines is because they felt it was unsafe for their child".

Talk to your health care provider for more information about the flu vaccine.

If they do, their babies are 78% less likely to catch whooping cough in the first two months of life, and 91 percent less likely to be hospitalized for the infection.

There were disparities among those who received vaccines, as women with providers that referred them for a vaccine had higher vaccination rates and African-American expecting mothers reported lower vaccination rates.

And finally, Dr. Chow says anyone who's had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS, a severe paralyzing illness), may not want to get the shot.

"We encourage them to start discussing the importance of maternal vaccination early in pregnancy, and continue vaccination discussions with their patients throughout pregnancy", Cohn said. All children and adults should receive the recommended vaccines says the recommendation. "When infants get whooping cough they are usually very sick and have difficulty breathing, eating, drinking or sleeping", Dr. Schuchat said. The CDC report said that about 70% of people who died from whooping cough in recent years were infants younger than 2 months. "Parents may see their babies gasping for air and even turning blue from lack of oxygen", Schuchat explained.

"Especially living in the residence halls and being in class all the time it's really easy to get sick and get the flu", Fisher said.

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