Preservative-Free Flu Vaccine
TO OUR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING PATIENTS
What is the flu?
The flu (influenza) is a respiratory illness similar to the common cold, but with much more severe symptoms. These include fever greater than 100.4 degrees; upper respiratory symptoms such as nasal congestion, stuffiness, sore throat, cough and shortness of breath; and bodily (systemic) symptoms such as headache, fatigue, weakness, muscle aches and low back pain. The flu is caused by a virus, so antibiotics are not advised unless a secondary infection is suspected. The illness typically lasts from 5 to 10 days, although in pregnant patients some symptoms can last 2 weeks or longer.
Purpose of the flu shot
The purpose of a flu vaccination is to try and prevent someone from getting the flu by immunizing the patient with an inactivated (killed) flu virus vaccine. There is a live virus flu vaccine nasal spray on the market, but this is NOT safe for use during pregnancy. Also, despite what "Dr. Google" says, you cannot get the flu from a flu shot.
Why vaccinate? Why not just "get the flu"?
Normally a mild illness, influenza can be a dangerous condition in susceptible groups (due to weaker immune systems) such as children under age 2, adults over age 65, adults with serious chronic health conditions such as AIDS or cancer, and also during pregnancy. In these groups, there is a higher risk of serious complications such as pneumonia.
Safe During Pregnancy and Breast-feeding
The vaccine we advise during pregnancy is preservative-free. Each dose is packaged separately. Because this is a killed virus vaccine, it is safe to administer during pregnancy (any trimester) or while breast-feeding.
Go here for more information: CDC Web Site