It is recommended that pregnant women who are at any stage of pregnancy during the influenza season get the flu vaccine. Pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness and hospitalization from the flu. The risk of influenza-related hospitalization in pregnant women increases as their pregnancy progresses and is highest in the third trimester.
Research shows that vaccination of pregnant women protects their newborns from influenza and influenza-related hospitalization. Research also shows that infants born during influenza season to vaccinated women are less likely to be premature, small for gestational age, and low birth weight.
The influenza vaccine is considered safe at any stage of pregnancy. The vaccine considered safe for use in pregnancy is given by injection. The safety of the live influenza vaccine given by nasal spray has not been established during pregnancy. Pregnant women or those intending to become pregnant should receive the influenza vaccine or flu shot given by needle, which contains dead influenza viruses that cannot cause infection.
This answer was published on Sep 19, 2014.
The answers in the Q&A are not altered or updated after the published date. For current information and recommendations, consult your health care provider.
If you are a health care provider looking for immunization information, please visit the Health Professionals section of the BCCDC website. There you can find clinical resources, immunization courses, print resources for patients and more.
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