Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size

Flu Vaccine Safe Throughout Pregnancy

Studies Also Show Vaccinated Moms Less Likely to Have Small or Premature Babies

Vaccination and Premature Babies

A second study, led by Saad Omer, MD, PhD, of Emory University in Atlanta, showed that vaccination in pregnancy lowers the chance of having a low birth weight or premature baby.

Omer and colleagues looked at the medical records of more than 6,400 babies in Georgia from June 2004 through September 2006. About 15% of their moms got a flu shot during pregnancy. Results showed that during periods of widespread flu activity, vaccinated women were 60%-70% less likely to have an infant small for his or her gestational age or have a premature baby.

In a third study, vaccinated mothers in Bangladesh gave birth to babies who were 1.5 pounds heavier, on average, than those born to unvaccinated women.

Previous findings from the study showed that infants born to vaccinated women were 63% less likely to get the flu and 29% less likely to have a respiratory ailment accompanied by fever. The vaccinated moms were also less likely to get sick themselves, says researcher Mark Steinhoff, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

"When you prevent flu in a pregnant woman, you benefit the mother, you benefit the infant, and we think this also shows that you benefit the fetus,” Steinhoff tells WebMD.

Vaccine Safe in Pregnancy

The experts say there a variety of reasons pregnant women don't get vaccinated. In many cases, their ob-gyns don't offer it, Schaffner says. Also, mothers have a long tradition of not taking anything they fear will harm their fetus and without reassurance, they may fear the vaccine is harmful, he says.

Not only does the new research suggest the opposite, Schaffner says, but a fourth study shows inactivated flu vaccine can be safely given during any trimester of pregnancy.

Researchers reviewed 11 studies of flu vaccination during pregnancy, as well as CDC data about disease and death from flu infection. Seven of the studies involved women in their third trimester.

The pooled analysis, which is published online in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, notes that no study has shown an increased risk of maternal or fetal complications associated with the inactivated flu vaccine shot.

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat