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Flu Shot Safe for Pregnant Women, Study Confirms

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During a dangerous flu season, health experts are emphasizing that the vaccine is safe--and important--for pregnant women.  The Associated Press reports on a new Norwegian study that confirms the vaccine's safety during pregnancy:

A large study offers reassuring news for pregnant women: It's safe to get a flu shot.

The research found no evidence that the vaccine increases the risk of losing a fetus, and may prevent some deaths. Getting the flu while pregnant makes fetal death more likely, the Norwegian research showed.

The flu vaccine has long been considered safe for pregnant women and their fetuses. U.S. health officials began recommending flu shots for them more than five decades ago, following a higher death rate in pregnant women during a flu pandemic in the late 1950s.

But the study is perhaps the largest look at the safety and value of flu vaccination during pregnancy, experts say.

"This is the kind of information we need to provide our patients when discussing that flu vaccine is important for everyone, particularly for pregnant women," said Dr. Geeta Swamy, a researcher who studies vaccines and pregnant women at Duke University Medical Center.

For more, read What Pregnant Women Need to Know About the Flu on Parents.com.

Image: Pregnant woman getting shot, via Shutterstock

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