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Flu shot during pregnancy is safe, but flu isn't

Illness in mother boosts risk of miscarriage or stillbirth

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9:13pm, January 16, 2013

Getting the flu appears to nearly double a pregnant woman’s risk of having a miscarriage or stillbirth, data from Norway during the 2009-2010 global flu pandemic show. But getting vaccinated during pregnancy greatly reduces a woman’s risk of flu, researchers report online January 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study also finds that getting a flu shot during pregnancy is safe. Anecdotal reports had suggested that flu vaccination during gestation might have adverse effects on the fetus, but the new study — as well as two previous reports, from Canada and Denmark — now show no such connection.

“I think this is a strong finding,” says Lone Simonsen, an epidemiologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. “It’s good to see a carefully done, large study like this.”

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