Millions of pregnant women are not getting flu shots and whooping cough vaccinations, and may be inadvertently putting their babies in danger because of it, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new report finds 65% of pregnant women in the United States have not received the vaccinations.
Influenza and whooping cough can be deadly for babies, and vaccinating women against the illnesses helps protect them and their babies, CDC officials said.
Women with the flu are twice as likely to be hospitalized if they’re pregnant, and agency officials said that’s one of the reasons they’re so concerned about the low rate of vaccination among this group.
The new report stressed that it’s safe for pregnant women to receive the shots and they also can get Tdap, a combination flu vaccine that helps lower the risk of whooping cough in babies less than 2 months old by 78%.
Pregnant women who get the flu shot are also 40% less likely to be hospitalized if they do catch the flu bug.
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