Influenza is a common health problem and the best way to prevent it is by vaccination. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Anjali Kumar, Director - Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon, about why pregnant women should get vaccines for influenza. If seasonal flu or influenza occurs in a pregnant woman, then she is at a higher risk of getting severe. Here's how you can prevent seasonal flu:
1. Social distancing, wearing masks and washing your hands regularly is an important part to protect yourself. Influenza is an old virus which can be prevented and treated through vaccination. Flu shot is a vaccine that can protect you and your baby from seasonal flu or influenza. Mostly, the medical bodies also advice that pregnant women should be given a flu shot.
2. If the flu shot is given during pregnancy, it decreases the chances of infection in the pregnancy by almost 50%. It also decreases the chance of getting hospitalised due to influenza by 40% and it also gives protection to the newborn. Along with the mother, even the baby will be protected from influenza for atleast 6 months.
This flu shot is easily available and inexpensive. It is a simple intermuscular injection. It is given directly into the muscle and any healthcare provider can do the same. It can be given at any point during pregnancy. However, the best time to take a flu shot is before the onset of influenza season. In India, October and November is the season of influenza. This vaccine is safe and has no major side effects. Some pain or swelling is a common minor side effect. You can talk to your doctor for getting this vaccine.
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