Most pregnant women aren't getting flu and whooping cough shots, CDC warns

Most pregnant women in the United States don't get flu and whooping cough vaccines even though the shots are safe and recommended as part of routine prenatal...

Posted: Oct 8, 2019 2:40 PM

Most pregnant women in the United States don't get flu and whooping cough vaccines even though the shots are safe and recommended as part of routine prenatal care, a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The report said the low rates of vaccination during pregnancy could put moms-to-be and newborns at greater risk of infection, hospitalization and death. The two vaccinations pass on antibodies to the fetus that provide protection after birth, when babies are too young to be vaccinated. It added that pregnant women have more than double the risk of hospitalization if they get influenza compared to women of childbearing age who aren't pregnant, the CDC said.

The CDC surveyed nearly 2,100 women ages 18 to 49 who were pregnant any time between August 2018 and April 2019. They found that 54% had reported getting a flu shot and 55% said that had received Tdap -- the vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, which is known as whooping cough.

It said that only 35% had received both vaccinations.

"Obstetricians and midwives are on the front line of care for expectant mothers and are the most trusted source of vaccine information for their pregnant patients," said Dr. Amanda Cohn, chief medical officer in CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

"We encourage them to start discussing the importance of maternal vaccination early in pregnancy, and continue vaccination discussions with their patients throughout pregnancy."

"Influenza and pertussis, or whooping cough, are serious infections that can be deadly for babies," Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director, told reporters Tuesday.

In infants, whooping cough can lead to episodes of coughing that last for weeks. "Parents may see their babies gasping for air and even turning blue from lack of oxygen," Schuchat explained. It can also lead to vomiting after coughing fits and more serious complications such as pneumonia and seizures, experts say.

Since 2010, up to 20 babies have died each year from whooping cough in the United States, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends that all pregnant women get a flu vaccine during any trimester of each pregnancy and the whooping cough vaccine during the early part of the third trimester of each pregnancy.

Women whose health care providers offered or referred them for vaccination were more likely to report receiving the vaccinations. About three-quarters of pregnant women said they had been, but of those, roughly a third remained unvaccinated.

The survey also found that black women had lower vaccination rates than women of other races and were less likely to say they had received an offer or referral for a vaccination from their health care provider.

The top reason for not getting the Tdap vaccine was not knowing it was needed for each pregnancy. The top reason for not getting vaccinated against influenza was the belief the vaccine wasn't effective. The next most common reason for not receiving either vaccine was safety concerns for the infant -- despite both vaccines having a strong track record of proven safety.

The CDC said the flu shot lowers a pregnant woman's risk of hospitalization by an average of 40%. Since 2010, among women ages 15 to 44 years who were hospitalized for influenza, 24% to 34% of them were pregnant -- even though only approximately 9% of US women in this age group are pregnant at any given time each year.

Maternal vaccination also reduces the risk of hospitalization from influenza in babies younger than 6 months by an average of 72%, the report said.

In infants younger than 2 months, the Tdap vaccination is 77.7% effective in preventing whooping cough cases and 90.5% effective in preventing hospitalizations.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 51612

Reported Deaths: 2760
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12074693
Lake5650249
Elkhart361860
Allen2952134
St. Joseph214869
Hamilton1708101
Cass16459
Hendricks1466100
Johnson1345118
Porter84038
Tippecanoe7799
Vanderburgh7686
Clark71144
Madison67864
LaPorte62328
Howard60758
Bartholomew60145
Kosciusko5824
Marshall5579
Noble52028
Boone49144
LaGrange48610
Jackson4783
Delaware47552
Hancock46836
Shelby45925
Floyd41444
Monroe34828
Morgan34531
Grant32226
Dubois3096
Montgomery29820
Henry29618
Clinton2903
White27610
Dearborn26523
Warrick26129
Vigo2588
Decatur25632
Lawrence25225
Harrison21822
Greene19632
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1738
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1586
Daviess15117
Perry14910
Steuben1382
Orange13723
Jasper1362
Ripley1347
Franklin1288
Gibson1242
Wabash1163
Carroll1142
Starke1083
Whitley1076
Fayette1067
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells821
Randolph804
Fulton731
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Rush623
Posey610
Spencer571
Owen521
Benton510
Sullivan501
Adams491
Brown431
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Switzerland320
Tipton321
Parke270
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 65592

Reported Deaths: 3058
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin12035447
Cuyahoga9208399
Hamilton6950208
Lucas3007306
Marion274839
Montgomery251336
Summit2351209
Pickaway222741
Mahoning1948239
Butler186347
Columbiana138560
Stark1225116
Lorain115269
Trumbull105378
Warren100926
Clark81610
Delaware72415
Fairfield69217
Lake60923
Tuscarawas60910
Medina58932
Licking58312
Belmont57024
Miami51031
Portage50260
Clermont4977
Wood49451
Ashtabula44844
Geauga42843
Richland3786
Wayne37355
Allen36641
Greene3469
Mercer30210
Erie28622
Holmes2615
Darke25926
Huron2472
Madison2229
Ottawa19324
Sandusky16915
Athens1671
Ross1483
Washington14620
Coshocton1424
Putnam14215
Crawford1415
Hardin12312
Morrow1211
Jefferson1152
Auglaize1114
Muskingum1041
Union1021
Preble911
Clinton892
Monroe8917
Hancock861
Lawrence860
Guernsey813
Hocking819
Williams762
Shelby754
Logan711
Scioto710
Carroll703
Ashland682
Fulton670
Brown631
Wyandot635
Champaign551
Fayette550
Knox551
Defiance543
Highland531
Van Wert491
Perry461
Seneca412
Henry350
Paulding320
Jackson300
Pike290
Adams261
Vinton232
Gallia211
Harrison141
Noble140
Meigs130
Morgan110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 73°
Huntington
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 80°
Decatur
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 79°
Warmer Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events