While it is recommended that pregnant women get the flu shot, only half actually get it — leaving both mom and baby at high risk for serious health complications. This week, National Influenza Vaccination Week, is meant to bring awareness the flu and the need for protection — and now it’s easier for moms to access information with the launch of a new website.
“Flu Near You” provides information on where flu outbreaks are occuring and includes a search to find out where you can get the flu vaccine in your area. The site is administered by Healthmap of Boston Children’s Hospital in partnership with the American Public Health Association and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology both recommend a flu shot — not the nasal spray — for pregnant women because changes to the immune system during pregnancy can increase the risk for severe illness, hospitalization and premature birth. The CDC recommends calling 911 if you have the following signs:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- High fever that is not responding to Tylenol® (or store brand equivalent)
- Decreased or no movement of your baby