Medicine

Myths about the efficacy of the flu shot must be dispelled

Myths about the efficacy of the flu shot must be dispelled

The CDC recommends that all pregnant women get a flu vaccine during any trimester of each pregnancy and the whooping cough vaccine during the early part of the third trimester of each pregnancy. Both the flu and whooping cough can be unsafe for pregnant women and young babies, but according to a new report, the majority of moms-to-be aren't getting the recommended vaccines that can help offer protection.

Knowing that there is flu in your area may also prompt you to get a vaccination sooner, according to Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and infectious disease expert. Pregnant women also face more than double the risk of hospitalization compared to non-pregnant women of childbearing age if they get the flu.

For adults, studies have not shown any benefits from getting more than one dose of the vaccine during the flu season.

The CDC states that two thirds of all pregnant women do not receive the flu shot and the Tdap vaccine against whooping cough.

Similarly, the whooping cough vaccine lowered the rate of hospitalization for babies less than two months old by 91%.

Less than half of pregnant women in the US are receiving the flu and whooping cough vaccines, both of which protect not only the mother from disease but her unborn child as well.

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Distribution and production delays from manufacturers have caused some uncertainty when it comes to this year's flu season.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the C.D.C.in a briefing said, "Influenza and pertussis, or whooping cough, are serious infections that can be deadly for babies, especially for those who are too young to be vaccinated directly".

Since 2010, up to 20 babies have died each year from whooping cough in the United States, according to the CDC.

Shots are not recommended for babies under six months old, but if their mothers got their shots during pregnancy, the antibodies she forms will be passed to and protect a newborn. The top reason for not getting vaccinated against influenza was the belief the vaccine wasn't effective. Some didn't think they were at risk for flu she said. Women age 35 or older and working women were less likely to have had received a recommendation for a whooping cough vaccine, although the report did not explain why.

A seasonal flu vaccine walk-in clinic will be held Thursday, October 17 from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m.at the First Interstate Building at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds.

But women who get the shot are at a 40 percent lower risk of being hospitalized for the virus.