Flu protection for two: the importance of the flu vaccine during pregnancyTexas Children's Health Plan
Influenza vaccination is an essential element of pre-pregnancy, prenatal, and postpartum care because influenza can result in serious illness, including a higher chance of progressing to pneumonia, when it occurs during the antepartum or postpartum period. In addition to hospitalization, pregnant women with influenza are at increased risk of intensive care unit admission and adverse perinatal and neonatal outcomes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that all adults receive an annual influenza vaccine and that women who are or will be pregnant during influenza season receive an inactivated influenza vaccine as soon as it is available.
In the United States, the influenza season typically occurs from October to May. Ideally, an influenza vaccination should be given before the end of October, but vaccination throughout the influenza season is encouraged to ensure protection during the period of circulation. Any of the licensed, recommended, age-appropriate, inactivated influenza vaccines can be given safely during any trimester. Therefore, it is critically important that obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers recommend and advocate for the influenza vaccine. Obstetrician–gynecologists are encouraged to stock and administer the influenza vaccine to their pregnant patients in their offices, and should get the influenza vaccine themselves every season. If the influenza vaccine cannot be offered in a practice, obstetrician–gynecologists and obstetric care providers should refer patients to another health care provider, pharmacy, or community vaccination center.
Excerpt from ACOG Committee Opinion from April 2018 (https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Influenza-Vaccination-During-Pregnancy)
Influenza vaccines are available free-of-charge to enrolled providers through the Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) program for STAR, STAR Kids, and CHIP members birth through 18 years of age. Members who are 18 years or older can receive the influenza vaccine at a participating pharmacy. For a list of pharmacies, please visit http://www.texaschildrenshealthplan.org/for-members/star/pharmacy-directories