Doctors advising pregnant patients to get flu shot

Sept. 26, 2013 at 10:14 PM
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ATLANTA, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Pregnant women and infants are at increased risk for influenza-related severe illness and hospitalization, U.S. health officials say.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend influenza vaccination for all women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season, regardless of trimester.

To estimate influenza vaccination coverage among pregnant women during the 2012–13 influenza season, the CDC analyzed data from an Internet panel survey conducted April 1-12. Among 1,702 self-selected survey respondents pregnant at any time during the four-month period of October 2012 to January 2013, 50.5 percent reported they received influenza vaccination before or during their pregnancy.

Influenza vaccination coverage was higher among women reporting both a healthcare provider recommendation and offer of influenza vaccination at 70.5 percent compared with women who received a recommendation but no offer of vaccination -- 46.3 percent -- while 16 percent of women received no recommendation.

Women who received a recommendation and offer of influenza vaccination from their provider were much more likely to be vaccinated than those who did not receive a recommendation or a recommendation but no offer.

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