Vaccine, Influenza in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Risk Factor: CM
Class: Serums, toxoids, and vaccines / Vaccines

Contents of this page:
Fetal Risk Summary
Breast Feeding Summary
Questions and Answers

Fetal Risk Summary

Influenza vaccine is an inactivated virus vaccine (1). Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with the vaccine.

Influenza during pregnancy may potentially result in an increased rate of spontaneous abortions (1). The vaccine is considered safe during all stages of pregnancy (2,3,4 and 5). Neonatal passive immunization of short duration has been documented in some studies (4). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that the vaccine be given only to pregnant women with serious underlying diseases and that public health officials should be consulted for current recommendations (1).

In 1999, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that the vaccine should be administered to women who would be in the 2nd and 3rd trimester (i.e., 14 weeks' gestation) during the influenza season (5). In addition, pregnant women who have medical conditions that increase their risk for complications from influenza should receive the vaccine regardless of the stage of pregnancy (5). Moreover, many experts consider influenza vaccine safe at any time in pregnancy, but vaccination during the 2nd trimester can avoid a coincidental association with spontaneous abortion that is common in the 1st trimester (5).

Breast Feeding Summary

Maternal vaccination is not contraindicated during breast feeding and presents no risk to the nursing infant (5).


  1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Immunization during pregnancy. Technical Bulletin. No. 160, October 1991.
  2. Philit F, Cordier J-F. Therapeutic approaches of clinicians to influenza pandemic. Eur J Epidemiol 1994;10:4912.
  3. Bandy U. Influenza: prevention and control. R I Med 1994;77:3934.
  4. Linder N, Ohel G. In utero vaccination. Clin Perinatol 1994;21:66374.
  5. CDC. Prevention and control of influenza: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 1999;48(No. RR-4):128.

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Questions and Answers

my son is allergic to egg, can he have the influenza vaccine still?, i posted this question on the medicine category, and i got mixed answers, maybe this allergy category will give me more answers, thenks!

The previous answerer is correct; he can have it unless he has severe 'anaphylactic' reactions to egg. Speak to your GP about it, if in doubt he/she can refer your child to a specialist immunisation centre (e.g. at a children's hospital). Have a look at the Children's Hospital at Westmead's information page on egg allergy

Who discovered the influenza vaccine?, did Jonas Salk have any role in discovering the vaccine?

No, Jonas Salk is given credit for the polio vaccine.

Around 1930 American bacteriologist Richard E. Shope showed that it was possible to transfer an influenza-like disease from one pig to another. Thereafter scientists chiefly used animals in their research on influenza.

Richard Shope has been credited with discovering the most effective ways in fighting the flu, but no one person can be credited with "inventing the vaccine",it was a conglomeration of many different scientists throughout time.

How does the influenza vaccine get into your system?,

with the nasal vaccine...there are many blood vessels in your nose and the liquid vaccine passes through your nasal membranes into your blood stream

with the intravenouses vaccine...
the vaccine is put directly into you blood stream

Is it good to get an influenza vaccine?,

I don't get one.

if you are allergic to egg white, what will happen if you have the influenza vaccine?,

You could have a reaction.

(i) Why does a new vaccine against influenza need to be given each year?,

Because it is a scam to produce lots of money pharmaceutical companies and the government. The flu is a virus and viruses mutate, so chances are the shot won't protect you anyway. It also contains mercury, formaldehyde, and aluminum. Ingredients:
Interesting video:

Vaccinated against influenza. Does baby get any immunity from my vaccine, being breast fed?, I was vaccinated against influenza just before our winter season(Australia). I breast feed my one year old baby (upon babbies request). Does my baby receive any of the immunity? I have a house full of children with the flu and am hoping that my baby would have acquired some immunity from my vaccine.

Your baby probably won't get the immunity to the flu vaccine you recieved through breast milk at this point. You could have vaccinated your 1 year, they may not do it that young were you are from though.
The flu vaccine only protects againts the most common type of flu. If your childern have a type that is not in the vaccine then you and your baby may catch it.
Was hands very frequently to reduce the risk of spreading it.

What is In an Influenza vaccine. Please read on Intresting story..?, Ok. Just last week in October I went to the doctor because I was sick. He ask me If I wanted an influenza vaccine or a flu shot.
I said 'Well what does it consist of I need to know whats being INJECTED in to my body' and you wouldn't believe what he said
I cannot discuss that with you. So what do you think I said? I obviously said No. I do not want some vaccine that you can't even explain the substance that you are offering to inject.

I'm glad you are concerned what is going into your body, especally when it comes to vaccines. For starters, they put a virus into your body. (thats what influenza is) but in order to keep the vaccine "fresh" they had to put into it a lot of preservatives. That is where my main concern comes in. If you want more info on whats in your vaccine, wether it's flu, or chicken pox, or even just tetnus, do a google search. You'll find more info there then you probably ever wanted to know

Why can't you get influenza from a influenza vaccine?,

The virus in the vaccine is usually dead or severely weakened, so that even though it's not active, your body's immune system can identify its pathogens to make itself immune to the live form.