Ugh. I've been dreading this one because I don't think I'm going to be very helpful here. There could be an entire website devoted to the controversy surrounding vaccines (and there is) but I'm going to try and keep this as simple as possible.
I think vaccines are one of the most major health advances we have ever had and we should never lose sight of how horrible the diseases are that they prevent.
The flu kills approximately 36,000 people every year so it's worth being frightened. It doesn't look like the flu itself will harm your baby but treating you for influenza becomes complicated while you're pregnant and if you get really sick and kick it, well, that's not good for either of you.
On the flip side, the US government has paid out $847 million for vaccine related injuries since 1988 so while the risk is very low, vaccines aren't totally benign either.
The consensus seems to be that you should get the shot when you're pregnant and that the risks from vaccines are outweighed by the risks of the flu.
I also want to clarify that the flu isn't a bad cold or a stomach bug. It's a ramped up version of a cold accompanied by fever, chills, muscle pain, headaches, coughing and severe fatigue. It leaves you open to all kinds of complications like pneumonia and bacterial infections and that's where it can turn ugly .
Thimerosal is one of the buzz words floating around vaccines so ask your doctor if you can get a unadjuvanted vaccine that doesn't contain it.
*editor's note: this post is about adult, pregnant women getting vaccinated for the flu and not about children getting vaccines so please don't leave horror stories about a 2-year old dying of the chicken pox here. Thanks.
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