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The Importance of Flu Shots

Yes. In fact, if you’re going to be pregnant during flu season, doctors strongly advise you to get a flu shot. That's because pregnant women, especially in their second and third trimesters, are not only more likely to get the flu, but also to suffer complications (including pneumonia). In fact, they are in the same high-risk category as the elderly or those with heart and lung problems, says William Schaffner, M.D., of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The injection's side effects are minimal, and won't affect the fetus. And because the virus isn’t live, it’s safe to get at any point in your pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. At most, you may develop a mild fever and feel more tired than usual for a day or two; chances are you'll only feel a little soreness in your arm. And yes, be prepared to roll up your sleeve: Pregnant women aren’t candidates for the needle-free vaccine, FluMist.

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