ANCHOR LEAD: PREGNANT WOMEN CAN SAFELY RECEIVE THE FLU VACCINE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Women who are pregnant have a multitude of concerns, many of them focused on the health of their baby and ways to protect that. One concern that should be taken off the list is worrying about the flu vaccine. Pranita Tamma, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins and author of a recent study examining the flu vaccine’s record, answers the question of whether the vaccine is safe.
TAMMA: It absolutely is. Pregnant women are a population where there will never be a randomized controlled trial, but putting together all the data we have, beginning from the 1918 pandemic until now, which included several retrospective reviews and case-controlled series, the paper includes 11 such studies with over 10,000 women. There’s no evidence that there’s any harm to pregnant nor their fetuses. Their offspring was followed for several years of life and they too had no negative consequences. :30
So pregnant women should ask their healthcare provider to administer the flu vaccine as soon as possible. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.