While we have just started to enjoy autumn in Virginia, it’s important that we take steps now to protect ourselves from what is just around the corner: flu season. Our flu vaccinations arrived last week and we have already started offering the vaccine in our offices.
Patients who have an appointment with our practice during flu season will be able to receive the vaccine for the influenza virus. All doses that we have available for the 2012-2013 flu season are the inactivated form of the vaccine and are preservative-free.
Vaccines for the seasonal influenza virus are often also available at primary-care physician offices, through your job, local pharmacies and some grocery stores.
In line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, our practice suggests the following:
If you will be attempting pregnancy, are currently pregnant (in any trimester) or breastfeeding during flu season (October through March) the seasonal flu shot is recommended. The vaccine poses no danger to the baby, and you cannot get the seasonal flu from the seasonal flu shot. Pregnant women should not have the “live” or activated seasonal influenza vaccine which comes in nasal spray form.
It is especially important that our pregnant patients receive the flu vaccine. In addition to protecting the mother, the vaccine will also protect her unborn baby during pregnancy and after birth. Because of the changes that occur during pregnancy, the flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women and pregnant women who have the flu have a greater chance of having serious problems with their unborn babies, including miscarriage or preterm birth.
Even if you received the flu vaccine last year, it is important to have annual vaccination as the virus can change from year to year and the vaccine becomes less effective over time.
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