The Flu Shot Protects Pregnant Women and Their Babies
— Andrea Stephenson
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL, UNITED STATES, December 19, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remind everyone six months and older that there’s still time to get a flu vaccine, particularly expectant mothers. Andrea Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer for the Health Council of Southeast Florida, which sponsors Florida’s Local Health Councils’ COVID-19 community awareness campaign: Stay Healthy, Sunshine, says that pregnant women should always talk with their OBGYN or family doctor and connect with their Local Health Council to stay informed and make the best decisions for their health.
Florida’s 2022–23 flu season began October 2, 2022, and ends May 20, 2023, but surveillance continues year-round. The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) issues a weekly Florida FLU REVIEW and continues to report significant flu and flu-like illnesses. Stephenson notes that increased flu prevalence this year coincides with Florida’s RSV season, with pediatric cases higher than usual since the summer of 2021.
“In addition to getting your COVID vaccine and associated booster as eligible, we encourage everyone, including pregnant mothers and those at higher risk, to stay informed of the health benefits by protecting themselves and their loved ones from flu this holiday season,” says Stephenson.
Data from the CDC indicates that the flu is more likely to cause hospitalization in pregnant people than in people of reproductive age who are not pregnant. High fever, that often accompanies the flu, has been associated in some studies with neural tube defects and other adverse outcomes for a developing baby. The CDC notes that getting vaccinated during pregnancy can also help protect a baby from the flu during the first several months after birth as mothers pass antibodies on to their developing baby during pregnancy and through breast milk.
“The more people vaccinated against flu and COVID, the more people are protected,” says Stephenson.
Visit stayhealthysunshine.org for a reliable source of updated information and facts, a vaccination-finder link, a list of Florida’s 11 Local Health Councils, and connections to assistance for COVID-related needs.
Health Council of Southeast Florida
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