Health care institutions such as the AAFP and the AMA and others have been urging medical practitioners and other health professionals to immunize their patients against influenza.
Pregnant women and new mothers are at increased risk of developing complications that may originate from the flu, and so they are urged to obtain immunizations against the flu. This, according to a letter issued by these agencies, can “play a crucial role in helping to prevent influenza in your patients and their infants, which can save their lives.”
The entire text of the letter can be accessed here which says –
- During pregnancy there are changes in the immune system, heart and lungs that make women more prone to complications.
- Flu can increase the risk of premature labor and delivery.
- Vaccination during pregnancy can offer protection to the mother and the baby until 6 months of age. Babies under 6 months of age are ten times likelier to be hospitalized than older babies.
- Severe illnesses in post partum women (new mothers) are also documented.
- Warning is also issued against H1N1 (swine flu) which is expected to continue to circulate this flu season.
- Women are urged that the vaccine is safe to take and will cause no harm to women or infants.