Oct
28
2014

Pregnant women should get the flu vaccine to protect themselves, their babies

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The flu vaccine protects pregnant women, their unborn babies and the baby after birth.

These are just a few of the reasons it is so important for pregnant women to get a flu vaccine.

Dr. Michael A. Belfort, obstetrician and gynecologist-in-chief of Texas Children’s Hospital, tells you more about how serious the flu can be for pregnant women and why they should get vaccinated against the potentially life-threatening infection.

“Pregnancy is a state where there are adjustments in the mother’s immune system that can make certain infections more serious during pregnancy than they would be outside of pregnancy,” Belfort said. “The flu is one of those illnesses that can be a lot worse in pregnancy than outside of pregnancy.”

Pregnant woman with the flu also have a greater chance for serious problems for their unborn baby, including premature labor and delivery, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“So, it is absolutely vital for all pregnant women to get the flu vaccine,” Belfort said.

The shot has proven to be safe for pregnant women and their babies with millions of expecting mothers receiving the vaccine during previous years.

Getting the shot is the first and most important step in protecting against flu, according to the CDC. Given during pregnancy, the shot has been shown to protect both the mother and her baby (up to 6 months old) from the flu.

Employee Health is administering free seasonal influenza vaccinations to all Texas Children’s employees, Baylor College of Medicine employees working in Texas Children’s facilities, Texas Children’s medical staff and volunteers. Leaders from Texas Children’s Pediatrics, Texas Children’s Health Centers and The Center for Women and Children will inform their staff about seasonal flu vaccination details.

Click here to view vaccination schedules on Connect for both Main and West Campuses. Employee Health strongly encourages you to get your vaccine at one of the times listed on the schedule. If you are unable to do so, please schedule an appointment to get the flu vaccine at the Employee Health Clinic.

And, remember, getting an annual flu shot is part of Texas Children’s P3 incentive plan, which is an important component of the total rewards you receive at Texas Children’s Hospital. As part of P3 , we are striving for at least 90 percent of our staff to get vaccinated by Monday, December 1.