A research team in Georgia recently published a study that shows the protective effect of flu vaccine for pregnant women.
Led by Dr. Saad Omer of Emory University, the team examined the records of more than 3,300 pregnant women between April 2009 and 2010. They found that those women who received influenza vaccine overall had a 40% lower likelihood of giving birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy than women who were not vaccinated. That protection increased to 72% during the peak of the flu season.
The protection extended to birthweight as well. Vaccinated women were 69% less likely to have a small for gestational age baby than were the unvaccinated women.
Dr. Omer’s study underscores the importance of flu shots for pregnant women. Keep that in mind come next October, when the 2013-2014 vaccine comes out!
(Photo credit: International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs, 1885-1985)