Ask the Experts
Q: Is it safe to get the flu shot when you're pregnant?
A: Pregnant women are at higher risk of suffering from pneumonia and other complications of the flu, so you are specifically encouraged to get the influenza vaccine (so are the elderly, health-care workers and people with compromised immune systems). Getting immunized also may help protect your baby: The antibodies generated by the vaccine cross the placenta, so it's likely that the baby will have some degree of protection following birth. Ask your doctor about thimerosal-free vaccines. The vaccination is customized annually to offer protection from the particular strains of influenza expected that year. But since we cannot predict what degree of protection each year's vaccine will offer, even if you are vaccinated, you should try to limit your exposure to the virus by avoiding contact with anyone who is sick.