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Pregnant women now have one more reason to see their doctors—to get a flu shot. A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that moms-to-be who get a flu vaccine also provide immunity to their newborns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) OKs the vaccine for people older than 6 months, including pregnant women.
In the study of 340 pregnant women in Bangladesh, half received a flu shot and the other half didn't. Researchers discovered a 63 percent drop in flu cases among the 6-month-olds whose mothers were immunized while pregnant compared with the other group studied.
While the benefits of the flu vaccine are clear, The New York Times reports that only 13 percent of pregnant women said they were vaccinated in the 2006-2007 flu season. And, while the flu vaccine itself is considered to be safe for pregnant women and their babies, the CDC notes that the nasal spray flu vaccine is not approved for pregnant women.
For more on the vaccines you should get (and avoid) during pregnancy, see our Shot in the Arm chart.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's Copy Editor.