HEALTH ALERT: Pregnant Women Urged To Get Flu Shots - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

HEALTH ALERT: Pregnant Women Urged To Get Flu Shots

WASHINGTON — Flu season may not sound as scary for pregnant women this year as last — but they're still at high risk and need that shot, says a letter being mailed to thousands of health providers this week from some leading medical societies.

Any kind of flu is risky during pregnancy, for mother and baby. But last year's swine flu pandemic brought extra attention to the need for vaccination: Government data shows pregnant women account for only 1 percent of the population but represented 5 percent of swine flu deaths.

This year brings a return to the usual one-dose flu vaccine, which will protect against a return of that swine flu strain as well as two other flu types.

Women often are reluctant to take medications during their pregnancies and many obstetricians don't offer flu vaccine in their own offices, preferring that their patients get it elsewhere.

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