February 3, 2012

Should You Get the Influenza Vaccine During Infertility Treatment?

flu vaccination during infertility treatment
Many people being treated for infertility are unsure whether to get the “Flu Shot.”  During the 2012 influenza season both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Health Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS), Division of Public Health Services continue to have a universal recommendation for influenza vaccination to anyone over six months of age in the absence of medical contraindications. Medical contraindications include: history of severe allergic reaction to a prior influenza vaccination; persons who developed Guillain Barre Syndrome (a rare disorder that causes your immune system to attack your peripheral nervous system) within 6 weeks of receiving a prior influenza vaccine; and people with a severe egg allergy.The above agencies and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine endorse that all pregnant women and those contemplating pregnancy be vaccinated against influenza. However, you should not take the version of the vaccine given in a nasal spray as it contains a live albeit attenuated form of the virus. You should only take the vaccine made from ‘killed’ virus because of the chance of catching the flu from an attenuated vaccine and the side effects and danger of a pregnant woman with the flu are more of a health risk than getting vaccinated.

So, no matter how you get pregnant, the consensus from all governmental agencies and medical societies is that vaccination with ‘killed’ virus against influenza offers you and your baby the best chance of staying healthy during flu season.

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Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D.

Joseph A. Hill, III, M.D. Board-Certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility