Flu shots are annual vaccinations and can help reduce the chances of contracting flu. It is possible to get the flu despite the shot, but symptoms will be milder. The vaccines are generally taken through injections (thus flu shots) or as nasal sprays. Although the general perception (which is also true) is that flu shots are extremely necessary for individuals; there has been much debate regarding pregnant women receiving the same flu shots.
Many argue that it is unsafe for pregnant women to receive shots. But considering the fact that influenza is more likely to affect pregnant women than those who are not pregnant and they also tend to have worse symptoms, one can safely say that it is good for pregnant women to get flu shots.
The vaccine will protect pregnant women and their unborn babies till immediately after birth. Along with its benefits, some side effects of flu shots while pregnant are also there.
These side effects though present, are very few and mild in nature. Some of these include the following:
- The woman may experience soreness or redness at the site of injection after she has had a flu shot. This is a common side effect to flu shots experienced by most people on an average.
- A pregnant lady may also experience very mild or low grade fever as a side effect to the flu shots she has been given. The fever should eventually go away be but if it does not, the woman might need to take mild medicine suitable for her situation.
- Experiencing mild body aches soon after getting the flu shot is also a side effect which has been found to be experienced by pregnant women. These mild body pains also tend to disappear eventually.
- One other side effect of a flu shot is soreness in the arms. This is a general effect and is seen in many individuals. But this symptom seems to be more prominent in pregnant women. It is thus probable that a pregnant woman may experience pain or tiredness in her arms.
The above given are few side effects which a pregnant woman may experience due to a flu shot. Pregnant women must also take care to avoid flu vaccines in form of nasal sprays because sprays contain live attenuated viruses in the body, which are not suitable for them in pregnancy.