Pregnant Women Need The Flu Shot!


With only half of pregnant moms getting their flu shot, too many remain unprotected. Flu shots help protect pregnant women and their babies from potentially serious flu illness during and after pregnancy.

During the 2016-2017 flu season, an estimated 50%* of pregnant women in the U.S. protected themselves and their babies from flu by getting a flu shot. While this is a significant improvement since the years before the 2009 pandemic, about half of pregnant women and their babies, still remain unprotected from influenza.

We can do better. All pregnant women need flu shots to protect themselves and their babies.


Flu shots are a safe way to protect pregnant women from serious flu complications like pneumonia. Flu shots have been given to millions of pregnant women over many years. Flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies. The shot is safe to get during any trimester. The side effects that can occur from a flu shot, like soreness or redness where the shot is given, are very minor compared to the serious problems that flu illness could cause for pregnant women and their babies.

Some pregnant women are worried about trace amounts of thimerosal in flu shots. Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than one dose) of some vaccines to prevent their contamination with germs, bacteria and fungi.

Some flu shots produced for the United States each flu season come in multi-dose vials, and contain thimerosal to safeguard against possible contamination of the vial once it is opened. Manufacturers also make single-dose flu shots without thimerosal. The single-dose units are made without thimerosal as a preservative because they are intended to be opened and used only once.

While the most recent and rigorous scientific research shows that thimerosal-containing vaccines are not harmful, if you are worried about thimerosal, ask your doctor or other health care professional for a thimerosal-free flu shot. Manufacturers project that between 157 and 168 million doses of injectable influenza vaccine will be produced for the U.S. market this season; approximately 120 million doses of these will be thimerosal-free influenza vaccine.

For more information contact your doctor or go to