Flu shots recommended for pregnant and postpartum women

Because of the increased risk for serious illness and complications from influenza, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all women who are pregnant or who might be pregnant in the upcoming influenza season receive the IIV vaccine. This vaccination can be administered at any time during pregnancy, before and during the influenza season.3

There are two types of flu vaccine:
  • IIV or Inactivated flu vaccine:  It does not contain any live influence virus and is given by needle injection (flu shot).
  • LAIV or Live attenuated (weakened) influenza vaccine:  This is given as a nasal spray.

LAIV is not recommended for pregnant women. Postpartum women can receive either LAIV or IIV. Pregnant and postpartum women do not need to avoid contact with persons recently vaccinated with LAIV. Both live attenuated and inactivated vaccines are typically trivalent. That is, they contain material from three different influenza virus strains recommended by national and international public health agencies[3][4] as most likely to be protective against seasonal influenza in any given year.