Heather Felton
Heather M. Felton, M.D.

In the wake of a new study in the journal Vaccine, a UofL pediatrician reminds pregnant women that the flu vaccine is still recommended and very important for their own health and that of their newborns.

The recent study looks at a possible link between flu shots in pregnant women and miscarriage, but experts from the CDC note that the study has shortcomings due to the small number of women studied. Even one of the study’s co-authors, Edward Belongia, MD, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, and a member of the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practices, said the study does not show a causal relationship between flu vaccination and miscarriage.

For that reason, Heather Felton, MD, medical director of the University of Louisville Pediatrics Clinic at Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre, echoes the CDC recommendation that pregnant women in all trimesters get the vaccine this flu season.

“Not only does the vaccine help keep the expectant mom protected from flu, but some of her antibodies will cross to the baby to protect the little one,” Felton said. “Babies can’t get the flu vaccine until they are 6 months old so the protection they get during gestation is imperative.”

Expectant moms can make an appointment to get the vaccine, along with complete prenatal care, from UofL Physicians-General Obstetrics and Gynecology by calling 502-588-4400.