I am frequently asked by patients whether to get vaccinated for the flu. The answer is an unequivocal yes! Whether a woman is trying to conceive, just found out she is pregnant, or is well into her pregnancy, she should be vaccinated against the flu.
When the H1N1 flu hit a few years ago, there was initially no vaccine. When it was finally available, many women were afraid to use it. What we know from the H1N1 outbreak, well as from large flu outbreaks in the past, is that pregnant and post-partum women are at significantly increased risk for complications from the flu.
The flu vaccine is safe, and should be taken as early as possible in the flu season, which typically starts in October and peaks in February. The time to get your vaccine is now.
2022-2023 Flu Vaccine Recommendations
There are two types of vaccine: nasal spray and injections. For the 2022-2023 season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending any form of the vaccine--injected or inhaled.
If you are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy, you should get the injection. It does not contain any live virus, and there is no risk to either the woman or her pregnancy. The vaccine can be given at any time during pregnancy.
The flu vaccine is available at many doctors’ offices (internal medicine, family practice, Ob/Gyn), at local pharmacies and at health centers. It needs to be administered yearly, as the vaccine is reformulated each year to protect against the strains of the flu virus that are anticipated to be present each flu season. This changes from year to year. This year’s flu vaccine will protect you against four strains of flu, including H1N1.
You can also receive both the flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine dose (or booster dose) at the same time safely.
Protect yourself, protect your pregnancy. Get the flu vaccine now!
To see a fertility specialist with expertise in all medical considerations related to pregnancy, make an appointment at one of InVia's four Chicago area fertility clinics.