Getting the influenza vaccine (flu shot) is safe to receive during pregnancy.
In B.C. the flu shot is provided free for pregnant women and for anyone that will be spending time with you and your baby. For best protection, it is recommended that people are immunized at the start of influenza season and at least two weeks before visiting you and your baby. Babies six months and older can also receive the influenza vaccine for free.
When is influenza season?
Usually between mid-October to April of every year.
Why is it important for pregnant women to get the flu shot?
Influenza can be very serious for pregnant women. Normal changes that happen in your body during pregnancy, like changes in your immune system, make you more likely to get really sick from influenza and be hospitalized. Influenza can also be harmful for your baby. Babies can get really sick from influenza but can’t get the vaccine until they are six months old. When you get the flu shot during pregnancy, you can pass protective antibodies to your baby that can help protect your baby for several months after birth. If you did not receive the flu shot during pregnancy, it is recommended that you get it as soon as possible postpartum (after your baby is born), preferably before discharge from hospital.
YouTube video: Flu shots during pregnancy
Where can I get the flu shot?
During influenza season the flu shot is available at most pharmacies, some doctor’s offices and local Public Health Units.
Visit the Flu Locator to find a flu clinic near you.