CDC: More pregnant women received flu shots
December 2nd, 2010
02:03 PM ET

CDC: More pregnant women received flu shots

Significantly more pregnant women received the flu vaccine during last year's flu season, than in the previous 2 years according to data collected by the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) in 10 states.

According to a report published Thursday in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 50.7 percent of pregnant women received a seasonal flu vaccine and 46.6 percent got an H1N1 flu vaccine during the 2009/2010 flu season.  Last year there were two flu shots because the H1N1 virus surfaced as the dominant flu strain after the regular flu vaccine was already in production.

Expectant mothers are encouraged to protect themselves from getting the flu because pregnancy weakens a woman's immune system, making her more vulnerable to serious complications from the flu.  By getting vaccinated, the mom-to-be also protects her unborn child which receives protective antibodies from mom, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Babies can't get a flu shot until they are 6 months old.

Vaccination rates for pregnant women are traditionally low according to the CDC.  In the 2007/2008 flu season only 24.2 percent of pregnant women were vaccinated.  Even fewer, only 11.3 percent, were vaccinated in the 2008/2009 flu season.

Even though the H1N1 flu virus was responsible for almost all of the flu cases last season, slightly more women received a seasonal flu shot, which didn't protect them against the flu commonly referred to as swine flu.  The CDC says many women didn't get that particular flu vaccine because they weren't sure the vaccine was safe for them or their baby.

Women were more likely to get a flu shot if their doctor recommended it for them, which is why this report suggests "continued efforts to educate the public and healthcare providers will be needed to increase influenza vaccination among pregnant women" during this current flu season.

It's not too late for almost anyone older than 6 months to get a flu vaccine because "it can still be protective to get vaccinated in December or later," according to the CDC.

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soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Susan Briggs

    Great, subject your unborn child's developing brain to the mercury still contained in most flu shots (in addition to the other toxic ingredients such as formaldehyde and aluminum). Way to increase his or her risk of Autism!

    December 2, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PayAttention

      If you took any time, at all, to research this, you would know that pregnant women are given different shots, with NO mercury. Don't go around scaring people needlessly.

      December 2, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • MoMo

      Flu shots don't contain aluminum, because they don't contain adjuvant. And as someone else already noted, pregnant women are given mercury-free shots. Get your facts right or keep your trap shut.

      December 2, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
    • Christina

      Yeah, cause they haven't totally debunked the myth of vaccines and Autisim! (ironic). Quite scaring people because you are mis-informed!

      December 3, 2010 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Christina, how much research have you actually done on the subject? By your comment I can assess none, and that all you have done is read superficial articles on the subject. You may blindly trust the CDC sponsored studies, but those of use who question things will not. Talk about misinformed.

      December 3, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
  2. Zory

    Scary! As a second time pregnant mom I`ll get vaccinated only if somebody tie me up!

    December 2, 2010 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Susan Briggs

    PayAttention – that is great to know about the Mercury, mine still had it even though I was obviously pregnant when receiving the shot and the nurse assured me it didn't contain it. After looking at the package insert she finally handed over after me harassing her for it – oops mine did contain it! And even if there is no mercury, there is still formaldehyde and aluminum in them. No thanks!

    December 2, 2010 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MoMo

      Try reading again... NO ALUMINUM!

      And your body makes formaldehyde, what are you going to do about that?

      December 2, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
  4. Smarter Than You

    Pay Attention! You are an idiot if you think pregnant women are not getting the shots with mercury...they had to remove some of the state bans just so women could get the H1N1 shot last year with the mercury in it...get a clue!

    December 2, 2010 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lisa

    I have only two pregancies to compare, but during my first pregnancy I had no flu shot and had a perfectly healthy baby boy who is now a flourishing and smart twelve year old. During my second pregnancy I made the HUGE mistake of getting a flu shot from my OB/GYN and my healthy son who is now almost nine was diagnosed with Autism shortly after turning 3.
    Although there is no scientific study, the reality of my youngest son's Autism is proof enough for me.

    December 2, 2010 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • oopey

      Yep, nothing like anecdotal evidence as proof.

      December 3, 2010 at 06:30 | Report abuse |
  6. Devora Wright

    I understand modern medicence, however, being pregnant and giving birth are so natural why interfere with the natural process. I don't believe that your immune system is weaker during pregnancy but stronger, your body has created and is now maintaing another life why wouldn't it be able to fight the flu? Also, if your taking prenatals those would continue to boost your immune system not weaken it. And fun fact the U.S has the highest maternal and infant mortality rate among western developed countries. Pregancy is NOT a medical condition but a natural process that should probably rarely be interfered with.

    December 2, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • oopey

      You realize that what you believe doesn't matter, right? What matters is the science which says you are wrong.

      December 3, 2010 at 06:32 | Report abuse |
  7. Smarter Than You

    Flu shots with mercury given to pregnant women and children for that matter can and will cause Autism....Fact

    December 2, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MoMo

      Not a fact, sorry. Study after study has shown no link between mercury and autism.

      December 2, 2010 at 23:25 | Report abuse |
    • oopey

      To paraphrase the Jerry Maguire movie: "Show me the study!"

      December 3, 2010 at 06:34 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Study after study is paid for or granted by persons and organizations and businesses with an insterest in the results. How can you trust any study when the entire system by which studies are brought to us is inherently flawed?

      December 3, 2010 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
  8. Smarter Than You

    You will all know how and why very shortly!

    December 2, 2010 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Pirogi

    Translation: Big Pharma gets richer when Big Medicine recommends their products! Especially to an emotionally vulnerable population, by unethically appealing to their innate need to protect their babies.

    Also, I thought it was commonly accepted that antibodies created in response to a vaccine (as opposed to an immune response to disease) did NOT confer the same immunity to the infant.

    December 2, 2010 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • oopey

      The immune response provoked in your body is to the virus, albeit an attenuated – or "dead" – one.

      December 3, 2010 at 06:38 | Report abuse |
  10. Felicia

    I really do not approve of pregnant women getting vaccinated. I think it could be harmful to the baby eventually. It is a risk you are taking!

    December 3, 2010 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. q

    I love that people say there is not link between vaccines and autism when the vaccine court just gave milions to hannah poling for the autism the vaccines induced. if only more damaged children had neurologist for a father maybe more cases would be won.

    December 3, 2010 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Boston

    My child has a neurologist for a mother (me), and I chose to get vaccinated. I'm 6 months pregnant. While there are no studies that demonstrate a link between autism and vaccines, many studies have shown a link between the development of schizophrenia later in life and a mother's exposure to the flu during her pregnancy. That, along with the fact that a pregnant woman is considered immunosuppressed and therefore much more likely to contract the flu, is reason enough for me to get vaccinated.

    December 3, 2010 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Valerie

      That just shows that you were indoctrinated, not educated. Anyone can get a degree or if they keep at it long enough, but not everyone who gets a degree can or will think critically. I really hope your baby is okay after what you have done.

      December 3, 2010 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      You are absolutely correct.... And to call a Physician indoctrinated only goes to show you that your knowledge of medicine is minute. You obviously have NO idea what it is like to work your tail off to be the best of the best and most educated people and to provide medical care for people. Boston, thank you for your comment. You are an excellent example of critical thinking. Valerie, unless you are a physician who does not use critical thinking skills (which is impossible given the patient populations these days,) nothing you say carries any weight. Come back to us after you look at the research and clinical trials that have been done by RN, PhD's who are not big pharma and learn a little bit about what you are talking about. Your bitterness towards MD's has absolutely nothing to do with pregnancy and vaccinations.

      December 6, 2010 at 00:40 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Laura, who do you think pays for clinical trials, regardless of who is doing them? And why would clinical trials carry any weight? They are not long term studies.

      Of course physicians believe they are using critical thinking skills during the day (especially with the work week that Neurologists endure), but if what they are taught in medical school is flawed or not questioned and they are not aware of it being such, then of course they have been indoctrinated. Any time you accept something as absolute truth, you have failed to think critically. Doesn't mean you're not problem solving all day every day. My only real gripe about physicians in general, besides the education thing, is that they don't always update their knowledge base (in their minds, not on computers), and that they pay little to no attention to nutrition or toxins in the environment. I don't doubt that both doctors and nurses know a lot more than I do about medicine. I just always question everything they say and the sources they use.

      December 8, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
  13. Lisa

    The National Toxicology Program (NTP) states that thimerosal is a “poison by ingestion, subcutaneous,intravenous and possibly other routes,” classifies it as an experimental carcinogen and teratogen, and concludes that childhood exposures result in “mental retardation in children, loss of coordination in speech,writing, gait, stupor, and irritability and bad temper progressing to mania. This was taken from the Journal of Amercan Physicians and Surgeons Vol 11 No 2, 2006. I will pray for those who get a flu shot while they are pregnant.

    December 3, 2010 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alice

      They are referring to long term exposure of amounts much, much greater to that in any vaccine you would receive. I'm sorry if someone you know has autism, but there's no substantiated proof that vaccines cause the disease, only anecdotal evidence. If you're going to base an argument on anecdotal evidence, why not say that radiation from increased cell phone use or laptop computer exposure causes autism? It's just as plausible.

      December 3, 2010 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
  14. notmyrealname

    Gee, what a surprise. Valerie, the woman with the longest pregnancy on record, is here yet again, broadcasting her silliness.

    December 5, 2010 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Laura

      Notmyrealname, I like you. Valerie appears to be that crazy that dresses up and pickets (with the only 4 other people in the country that think like her) outside the CDC with a megaphone. Yes, Valerie, we laugh at your kind while we drive past, heading to our jobs and schools where we prove that what you are saying is rubbish, crazy talk, and tomfoolery.

      December 6, 2010 at 00:45 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      Better than living in a trailer with my mother and 25 cats like yourself, notation.

      December 8, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
  15. Leslie

    The snark is unmistakable. How about a personality upgrade?

    December 8, 2010 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Valerie

      There was a time when I repeatedly asked this woman to stop ad hominem attacks in just about every comment section of many articles on CNN, but she just could not help herself. Hence, I am no longer civil towards her.

      December 8, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
  16. D

    In all honestly every ones back and forth about this subject has confused and scared me even more.

    My boyfriend is sick and I'm just hoping he doesn't have the flu. I'm 22 weeks pregnant and when I first found out I was pregnant I read a couple articles about the safety of the h1n1 vaccine. I read how there were several reported miscarriages and still births.From those articles I gathered that preventing the flu and keeping hydrated and my temp close to normal if i did get the flu was the most important thing. Now I'm rereading about everything and I'm just lost. Should I or shouldn't I ?

    January 20, 2011 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply

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