Every year, we celebrate the National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) from December 3-9 as a national awareness week that specifically focused on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. This National Influenza Vaccination Week also targets the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holiday season and beyond it.
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What is the Importance of Influenza Vaccination?
Well, annual vaccination is important because influenza (flu) is unpredictable, some flu viruses are well immunized and changing from vaccination declines over time. There is some annual flu vaccine that is the best way to protect against influenza.
Moreover, protection from an influenza vaccine is thought to continue for at least 6 months. And the vaccine protection declines over time because of disappearing antibody and because of changes in the influenza virus from year to year.
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What is the Importance of Influenza Vaccination During Pregnancy?
Influenza (flu) is more likely to cause severe disease in pregnant women than in normal women who are not pregnant. Some changes in the immune system, lungs, and heart during pregnancy make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from the flu, that can also result in hospitalization.
Somehow influenza is also harmful to a pregnant woman’s developing baby. The most common symptom of flu is fever, which may be associated with defects related to neural tube and other outcomes for a developing baby. Getting vaccinated annually can help in protecting a baby after birth from flu.
There is a lot of evidence which shows that flu vaccines can be given safely during pregnancy; though there are some limitations for the first trimester. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (CIP) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that pregnant women should get vaccinated during any trimester during their pregnancy. It is very important for pregnant women to get an influenza vaccination.
Why Influenza Vaccination is the Best Protection Against Flu?
Getting an influenza vaccination is a first and the most important step in protecting against flu. It is recommended that pregnant women should get a flu shot and not the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also called the nasal spray flu vaccine.
Those flu vaccines that are given during pregnancy helps in protecting both the mother and the baby from the flu. Vaccination has been shown most effective in reducing the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women. A 2018 study reveals that getting a flu shot helps in reducing a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with the flu on an average of 40-50%.
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