Significant number of pregnant women not getting vital vaccines

Significant number of pregnant women not getting vital vaccines
A large percentage of pregnant women are not getting a pair of critically important vaccinations despite persistent efforts by Public Health Officials. (Source: kfda)

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -Local doctors are stressing the importance of pregnant women getting their vaccinations.

New research is showing that the majority of mothers-to-be in the United States have not received two safe and effective vaccines recommended during pregnancy.

The study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over 65% of women that are pregnant are not getting vaccines that reduce the risks of influenza and whooping cough.

“I think most of it is fear and probably some misinformation. I think a lot of information out there about vaccines causing some things that they have been clearly shown not to cause, such as autism and things like that,” said Texas Tech Obstetrics & Gynecology Physician Teresa Baker.

Research from the CDC has proven that it is safe and highly recommended for expecting mothers to get each vaccine.

“The safety of vaccines is just incredible. The flu last year killed almost twice as many people as breast cancer, just shy of 80,000 Americans died from influenza," said Texas Tech Obstetrics & Gynecology Physician Stephen Griffin. "I don’t know how you look that in the face and don’t do everything you can.”

A recent study showed that getting a flu shot reduces a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized due to influenza by an average of 40%. Influenza is also dangerous for babies, especially those younger than six months, who are too young to get a flu shot.

Whooping cough can be deadly for babies, especially because babies can’t get vaccinated until they are two months old.

“When a mom is pregnant, a lot of medicines and a lot of vaccines and such can transfer through the placenta and protect the baby,” said Dr. Baker.

When moms-to-be are vaccinated, they pass on antibodies to the fetus that provides protection after birth; during the time, babies are too young to be vaccinated.

Dr. Griffin says the benefits are not just for the child, but the mother is at risk for hospitalization or death if they don’t get the proper vaccinations in time.

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