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The Flu Shot

amc80

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 18, 2010
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5,765
I've never gotten the flu and I've never gotten a flu shot. I just met with a new OBGYN for a pre-TTC appointment and she recommened I get one. I have mild asthma (mostly exercise induced), so that, combined with the fact that the immune system weakens during pregnancy, is why she was strongly urging it. I am really torn. On one hand, I obviously don't want to get the flu when I'm pregnant. On the other, I've never gotten the flu. I've also read about the possible link between the H1N1 vaccine and miscarriages, so that's a concern as well. I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this!

BTW- She also suggested I get a TDap shot as well, since I haven't had one since 1998 and she'd rather I get it now than when I'm pregnant...you know, in case I step on a rusty nail or something. I don't have as much as an issue with that one though, and I'll probably go ahead and get it.
 

Kunzite

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May 17, 2009
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1,183
IMO it's extremely important to get both the flu shot and the TDap. Getting the flu while pregnant can be very serious. Just because you haven't had the flu before doesn't give you any protection once you're pregnant. Not only will you be protecting yourself but you'll also pass the antibodies on to your unborn baby that will be born with a very weak immune system. The TDap especially is a no brainer for me. We have a case of pertussis in our infant room at day care right now and it's not something you want to mess around with.
 

amc80

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Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
Kunzite|1316452824|3020723 said:
IMO it's extremely important to get both the flu shot and the TDap. Getting the flu while pregnant can be very serious. Just because you haven't had the flu before doesn't give you any protection once you're pregnant. Not only will you be protecting yourself but you'll also pass the antibodies on to your unborn baby that will be born with a very weak immune system. The TDap especially is a no brainer for me. We have a case of pertussis in our infant room at day care right now and it's not something you want to mess around with.
Thanks. I'm not really concerned about the TDap, I know I need it since I haven't gotten one in 13 years. I'm leaning towards getting the flu shot...still debating.
 

Skippy123

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
amc80|1316451065|3020699 said:
I've never gotten the flu and I've never gotten a flu shot. I just met with a new OBGYN for a pre-TTC appointment and she recommened I get one. I have mild asthma (mostly exercise induced), so that, combined with the fact that the immune system weakens during pregnancy, is why she was strongly urging it. I am really torn. On one hand, I obviously don't want to get the flu when I'm pregnant. On the other, I've never gotten the flu. I've also read about the possible link between the H1N1 vaccine and miscarriages, so that's a concern as well. I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this!

BTW- She also suggested I get a TDap shot as well, since I haven't had one since 1998 and she'd rather I get it now than when I'm pregnant...you know, in case I step on a rusty nail or something. I don't have as much as an issue with that one though, and I'll probably go ahead and get it.
I hardly ever get the flu but being preggo and getting the flu is worse to me. Dehydration can cause a pregnant lady to go into labor early and a high fever can cause you to be dehydrated or worse you could get Pneumonia. Personally I wouldn't chance it. Just as you said your immune system is weaker when pregnant. I got the flu shot and the TDap shot and have your family get the TDap. eta: also when you are preggo you need to see the OB and if your OB is in a hospital the chance of being around sick people is higher. just my 2 cents. I noticed when I went into the OB there were always sick people. :???:

TDap protect against Whopping cough. If a baby gets whopping cough in the first year it is much more serious than if an adult gets it. I would also suggest your family members that are around the baby to get the shot if they haven't already. Hope that helps!
 

sparklyheart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
522
Other than the fact that you haven't had a tetanus shot in 13 yrs, you get the TDaP to protect your baby after he/she is born. If YOU get pertussis, it's like a cold.. but can be deadly to a baby! The baby can't get the shot until later so it's important that the people around he/she are free of certain diseases for the protection of the baby. Same thing with the flu shot.. Baby can't get it until 6 months.. But if you get the flu and then hang out around your 1 or 2 month old baby, it could be very deadly to the baby.

I haven't seen actual evidence about H1N1 and miscarriages.. But I would strongly urge you to talk to your OB/GYN about this if it's going to keep you from getting the shot.
 

NovemberBride

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Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
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I strongly advise that you gte both vaccines. Especially given that you are not yet pregnant; I am not aware of any studies that show getting the H1N1 vaccine prior to pregnancy can cause a miscarriage. However, there are many documented cases of infant death from H1N1. Babies cannot get a flu shot before they are 6 months old, so the only way for them to be protected is for the mother to get the flu shot and pass on the immunity to the baby.
 

amc80

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sparklyheart|1316465361|3020898 said:
I haven't seen actual evidence about H1N1 and miscarriages.. But I would strongly urge you to talk to your OB/GYN about this if it's going to keep you from getting the shot.
It's there, but as NovemberBride said, it's when you are already pregnant.

Okay, I'm just going to do it. Made an appointment and everything.
 

DivaDiamond007

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Jun 7, 2007
Messages
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I never got the flu shot until I was pregnant, either. And then I got the flu. Ended up in the ICU from puking my guts out and being dehydrated. Not fun when you have a basketball for a belly. Never again. It could have been a coincidence as my son came home with the stomach flu, gave it to my husband followed by me, but I will never get the shot again. I also realize that the flu shot covers the respiratory flu and not the stomach flu but I'm not totally convinced that it wasn't the shot that caused it.
 

Kunzite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 17, 2009
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DivaDiamond007|1316466930|3020919 said:
I never got the flu shot until I was pregnant, either. And then I got the flu. Ended up in the ICU from puking my guts out and being dehydrated. Not fun when you have a basketball for a belly. Never again. It could have been a coincidence as my son came home with the stomach flu, gave it to my husband followed by me, but I will never get the shot again. I also realize that the flu shot covers the respiratory flu and not the stomach flu but I'm not totally convinced that it wasn't the shot that caused it.
Just to be clear, gastroenteritis (stomach flu) and influenza are not related at all. There is no way the flu shot itself could have caused gastroenteritis.
 

Pandora II

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Aug 3, 2006
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My brother and his wife debated getting the H1N1 shot when she was first pregnant - right up until his colleague at work lost his 7 months pregnant wife and their unborn daughter to H1N1 in November 2009.

The risk of anything happening from the vaccine are negligible if any at all. The risk for a pregnant woman and her child if she gets H1N1 is very real indeed.

The vaccine issue is one that you are going to have to face in a big way once you have a baby as well. Having been brought up in a country where children died of measles, tuberculosis, cholera, diptheria etc my daughter looks like a pin cushion as I get her vaccinated for everything I can and consider that we are very fortunate to both have vaccines available and live in countries where they are freely available.

ETA: Anyone that thinks the Hib Vaccine isn't one to necessarily have should check out my brother's leg - he had 8 operations when he was 7 and very nearly lost his leg after the Haemophilus influenzae virus got into the bone-marrow of his leg following an ordinary ear infection (and this was in the UK not abroad - he was in Great Ormonde Street Hospital in London for months). He tells people he was attacked by a shark and they believe him!
 

Munchkin

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 3, 2004
Messages
540
It is impossible to get the flu from the shot. It is not a live vaccine. You can't get the flu from the shot any more than you can get Polio or Tetanus from shots. The mist is a live vaccine, though, and there is something like a 1 in 1 quintillion chance of getting the flu from it.

I got the flu vaccine while pregnant and the Tdap before. Having treated a 6 week old with pertussis and an 8 week old with H1N1, there was no way I would put my child at risk.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,614
I don't do flu shots so I did not get one when pregnant, nor have I ever. Personal choice.

My husband and I did get the TDaP (but my vaccine was after I gave birth), and both sets of grandparents did as well.
 

NewEnglandLady

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Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
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amc, I completely understand where you're coming from because I'm in a similar boat. I've never gotten the flu shot, never gotten the flu, but now I'm pregnant and I'm going to talk with my ob about getting it at my next appointment. I have a feeling I probably will get it because I'm admittedly fragile about anything that might hurt the baby, even if I realize the chances are small.
 

Skippy123

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Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
24,299
NewEnglandLady|1316540798|3021479 said:
amc, I completely understand where you're coming from because I'm in a similar boat. I've never gotten the flu shot, never gotten the flu, but now I'm pregnant and I'm going to talk with my ob about getting it at my next appointment. I have a feeling I probably will get it because I'm admittedly fragile about anything that might hurt the baby, even if I realize the chances are small.
If I remember correctly you can't get the flu shot in the first trimester? I could be wrong though? eta: and I am not saying you are in the 1st trimester NEL, I don't know what trimester you are in.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
What is your concern with the flu shot? I've gotten it as soon as possible for the last 2 years after getting the flu twice in 2009.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
3,689
This is just my opinion, but I think it's not a bad thing to go about your decisions as you would before thinking about TTC. Once you actively TTC, then you make adjustments, or...even wait until you are pregnant (which is what I did). So if you normally get the shot, go ahead, and if not, then don't. I got the normal flu shot while actively TTC for #2 (reasons for shot were unrelated to TTC, will elaborate below), and was a bit concerned (it was offered free at work) but since I wasn't pregnant that cycle, I was in the clear (I think it takes a few weeks to run through your system). I would say if you are actively TTC'ing then go for the pregnant version of the shot, same thing if you are preggo obviously.

In the past I never ever got the shot - and never got the flu. My father always gets the shot and gets the flu each time, so everyone is different. I DID get the shot while pregnant with #1 though and every year after because I did not want to pass anything to DD. I work in germ ridden NYC and so figured I could carry all kinds of things home. I did not give her the shot b/c she (until recently) was not in school or around large groups of people so figured DH and I would take the hit, haha. She has never been sick.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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janinegirly|1316549662|3021567 said:
I would say if you are actively TTC'ing then go for the pregnant version of the shot, same thing if you are preggo obviously.
Is this the one without preservatives? I asked about this and they said they only give it to kids...
 

NewEnglandLady

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Skippy123|1316548574|3021555 said:
NewEnglandLady|1316540798|3021479 said:
amc, I completely understand where you're coming from because I'm in a similar boat. I've never gotten the flu shot, never gotten the flu, but now I'm pregnant and I'm going to talk with my ob about getting it at my next appointment. I have a feeling I probably will get it because I'm admittedly fragile about anything that might hurt the baby, even if I realize the chances are small.
If I remember correctly you can't get the flu shot in the first trimester? I could be wrong though? eta: and I am not saying you are in the 1st trimester NEL, I don't know what trimester you are in.
I think you're right about the 1st trimester limitation. I'm in my 2nd, but still want to talk with my doc about pros/cons before I get it.
 

PilsnPinkysMom

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Oct 11, 2008
Messages
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amc80|1316550836|3021579 said:
janinegirly|1316549662|3021567 said:
I would say if you are actively TTC'ing then go for the pregnant version of the shot, same thing if you are preggo obviously.
Is this the one without preservatives? I asked about this and they said they only give it to kids...
It IS the preservative-free shot.

My DH is a pharmacist and routinely gives flu shots. His company's policy is that kids get the mist or preservative-free shot, and women who are pregnant or actively TTC get the preservative-free shot. That's the one he jabbed me with, anyway :cheeky:

Check out your local pharmacies. No reason to go to a doctor's office for a flu shot, as far as I know.
 

amc80

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PilsnPinkysMom|1316557678|3021663 said:
amc80|1316550836|3021579 said:
janinegirly|1316549662|3021567 said:
I would say if you are actively TTC'ing then go for the pregnant version of the shot, same thing if you are preggo obviously.
Is this the one without preservatives? I asked about this and they said they only give it to kids...
It IS the preservative-free shot.

My DH is a pharmacist and routinely gives flu shots. His company's policy is that kids get the mist or preservative-free shot, and women who are pregnant or actively TTC get the preservative-free shot. That's the one he jabbed me with, anyway :cheeky:

Check out your local pharmacies. No reason to go to a doctor's office for a flu shot, as far as I know.
I can get it for free from the local hospital through my insurance, but I'd be willing to pay for it at a pharmacy to get the preservative free one.
 

janinegirly

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amc80|1316550836|3021579 said:
janinegirly|1316549662|3021567 said:
I would say if you are actively TTC'ing then go for the pregnant version of the shot, same thing if you are preggo obviously.
Is this the one without preservatives? I asked about this and they said they only give it to kids...
Yes - without mercury I believe? As you can see I'm going by memory with my layman terms ("pregnancy version",haha). They also gave me this shot after DD1 was born since I was still trying to breastfeed at that point.

LIke I said this time around I got the normal version - about 3 mo's before getting pregnant, but from what I read it's flushed through your system in a few weeks. I had some concern since technically I was off bc, so there was a *possibility* but luckily nothing happened that cycle. In retrospect I would have gotten the preservative free one at my own doc and paid. Oh and last year's seasonal flu shot included the H1N1.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
I called CVS yesterday and they do have the preservative free one and it is free with my insurance. We are going to start TTC in November, so I'm going to get the shot in the next couple weeks so that it has a month to work its magic and get out of my system. I would get it ASAP but I'm doing a half marathon on Oct 2 and want to wait until after that. I'm still not thrilled about getting the flu shot, but I think the pros outweigh the cons, and the preservative free one is the best bet.
 

pancake

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No solid evidence in the literature linking flu vaccine to miscarriage. I don't know how the vaccines are administered in the US (I'm Australian) but here the H1N1 vaccine is administered separately from the standard fluvax. Blanket recommendation in Australia is that pregnant women should all have the flu vaccine due to impaired immunity and risk of more severe complications in the case of infection.

I get mine annually as I'm a healthcare worker; this year I was 8 weeks pregnant when I got it and it was fine.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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pancake|1316768314|3023673 said:
No solid evidence in the literature linking flu vaccine to miscarriage. I don't know how the vaccines are administered in the US (I'm Australian) but here the H1N1 vaccine is administered separately from the standard fluvax. Blanket recommendation in Australia is that pregnant women should all have the flu vaccine due to impaired immunity and risk of more severe complications in the case of infection.

I get mine annually as I'm a healthcare worker; this year I was 8 weeks pregnant when I got it and it was fine.
There sure is-

http://www.progressiveconvergence.com/Statistical%20correction%20Exhibit4.pdf

From what I have found, getting the mercury free shot removes the risk. It takes a little leg work to find a pharmacy/doctor who will give it to you if you're not pregant, but it is out there and available.
 

Pandora II

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Aug 3, 2006
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I like evidence to come from a respected peer-reviewed source.

I don't count the spurious articles I just read on that site as evidence, more dangerous scaremongering and supposition.

Miscarriage is extremely common. It is estimated that around 60% of ALL pregnancies will end in miscarriage. The vast majority due either to chromosomal abnormalities or to low progesterone levels.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/49017/title/Science_%2B_the_Public__H1N1_vaccine_Counting_side_effects

Here's an article that explains how CDC made-up their numbers: http://vaccineswork.blogspot.com/2010/09/too-low-1588-reports-of-miscarriage.html
 

pancake

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amc80|1316795082|3023889 said:
There sure is-

http://www.progressiveconvergence.com/Statistical%20correction%20Exhibit4.pdf

From what I have found, getting the mercury free shot removes the risk. It takes a little leg work to find a pharmacy/doctor who will give it to you if you're not pregant, but it is out there and available.
I hope this doesn't offend you, but I don't regard that source as high quality medical evidence. I know that my way of looking at things is probably a little different as I am a doctor and not a lay person, but as Pandora stated, peer-reviewed literature is where I look for information.
 

Mannequin

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I would follow the doctor's advice. I am almost 16 weeks pregnant and my OBGYN recommended getting a mercury-free flu shot as soon as they are available locally. I don't usually get one, but I am working with a younger age group of students this year and pregnancy will suppress my immune system.
 

honey22

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Jul 28, 2007
Messages
4,458
pancake|1316768314|3023673 said:
No solid evidence in the literature linking flu vaccine to miscarriage. I don't know how the vaccines are administered in the US (I'm Australian) but here the H1N1 vaccine is administered separately from the standard fluvax. Blanket recommendation in Australia is that pregnant women should all have the flu vaccine due to impaired immunity and risk of more severe complications in the case of infection.

I get mine annually as I'm a healthcare worker; this year I was 8 weeks pregnant when I got it and it was fine.

The H1N1 vaccine was included in the flu shot in Australia, but I can't remember if it was last season or the season before? I distinctly remember reading the info when I had the shot and it contained H1N1 strain vaccine and I double checked whether it would be ok for me (on immunosuppressants and already had the standalone H1N1).
 

amc80

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Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
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pancake|1316947090|3024926 said:
amc80|1316795082|3023889 said:
There sure is-

http://www.progressiveconvergence.com/Statistical%20correction%20Exhibit4.pdf

From what I have found, getting the mercury free shot removes the risk. It takes a little leg work to find a pharmacy/doctor who will give it to you if you're not pregant, but it is out there and available.
I hope this doesn't offend you, but I don't regard that source as high quality medical evidence. I know that my way of looking at things is probably a little different as I am a doctor and not a lay person, but as Pandora stated, peer-reviewed literature is where I look for information.
Not offended at all. I'm not sure if that was even "the" source, it was just one that I found.

BTW I'm not saying "flu shots are bad and cause miscarriages," more of a "I've read some interesting stuff that makes me think about whether or not to get one a little more."
 
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