STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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 12:59 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.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 9636

Reported Deaths: 209
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah236169
Marion159547
Washington149120
Clackamas79524
Umatilla6674
Union3551
Lincoln3452
Deschutes2010
Lane1963
Malheur1601
Linn1569
Polk15412
Jackson1400
Yamhill1328
Jefferson1310
Klamath1251
Benton915
Hood River880
Wasco851
Morrow821
Clatsop490
Douglas450
Josephine441
Coos420
Columbia350
Lake200
Tillamook130
Crook120
Wallowa100
Curry80
Baker40
Sherman20
Grant10
Harney10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 250514

Reported Deaths: 6315
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1078063457
Riverside19450479
Orange15778360
San Diego15696387
San Bernardino13676269
Imperial6979105
Alameda6472140
Fresno562677
Kern510080
Santa Clara4849160
Tulare4627136
San Joaquin447455
San Francisco377650
Sacramento355969
San Mateo3441108
Contra Costa343279
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Marin271019
Kings258332
Stanislaus239144
Monterey179115
Solano147625
Merced127211
Sonoma126710
Placer78611
San Luis Obispo7012
Yolo58324
Madera5665
Santa Cruz4173
Napa3444
San Benito2572
Lassen2340
Butte2063
El Dorado2060
Sutter2063
Humboldt1444
Shasta1354
Nevada1231
Glenn1220
Yuba1031
Tehama881
Lake850
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Calaveras530
Del Norte511
Tuolumne430
Mono411
Inyo331
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Amador260
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 84°
Brookings
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 64°
Crater Lake
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 77°
Grants Pass
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 84°
Klamath Falls
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 77°
Sunny weather continues Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events