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Aurora magazine

Flu vaccine in pregnancy: risks and effects

Pregnant women and very young children are most exposed to complications of flu. In some cases complications are so serious that they lead to death. That is why doctors recommend the flu vaccine to future mothers. However, as the flu vaccine repeats several times in life, researchers have tried to have any negative effects on the baby.

The vaccine helps the body develop the antibodies needed to deal with the virus. The problem is that not everyone responds to the flu vaccine the same way. A key factor is the repetition of vaccination. Because the virus changes year after year, many people vaccinate several years in a row to upgrade their protection. A factor that could adversely affect the immune system response.

There is more and more evidence that having the flu vaccine the year before influenced negatively the year's vaccine. Professor Lisa Christian has monitored the effects of vaccination on the immune system of 141 expectant mothers. He also looked at how old and new antibodies were transmitted from mother to child.

The study involved 141 pregnant women and vaccinated for the current year. Of these, 91 were also vaccinated the year before. The 50 women who had not been vaccinated the year before reacted to the new flu vaccine in a normal way. The other 91 antibodies, on the other hand, are weaker than the average.
Once the children were born, the researchers examined the cord blood. Unlike mothers, the children reacted to the vaccine all the same way. Even the children of 91 women already vaccinated the year before were fully protected for the virus of the current year. So, despite the fact that the protection is lower for the mother, it is still effective on the offspring.