Official: Flu shots vital for pregnant women

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 17, 2014

A greater chance of serious problems from the flu is a real concern for pregnant women, and a recent walk-in flu clinic provided the opportunity for one woman to prevent the illness.

At a Covington County Health Department walk-in flu clinic, Taylor Vaughn, 20, was able to secure the protection of the flu shot for herself and her unborn child.

“I am 22 weeks,” Vaughn said. “I always come and get my vaccination, but I came more importantly because I’m pregnant.”

ADPH registered nurse Teresa Marshall stressed the importance of pregnant women receiving flu shots because prevention through the “mama,” also affects the baby.

“It’s important for pregnant women to get their flu shots,” Marshall said. “If we protect the momma before she delivers, it will protect the baby.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant.

Additionally, pregnant women are more prone to severe illness due to changes in the immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy.

The Alabama Department of Public Health also recommends that children over 6 months; people over age 50; anyone with a chronic disease; and health care workers get flu shots.

A flu clinic is scheduled today from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in room 206 of the Mizell Memorial Hospital.

The next flu clinic at the CCHD office will be Tues., Nov. 4, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Anyone 6 months and older is eligible for the shot, and the cost is $5 without insurance. Those with Medicare, Medicaid or Blue Cross Blue Shield may bring their insurance cards.