OSU study shows shot helps moms, babies

A study from Ohio State University researchers shows that pregnant women who get the flu shot benefit from the vaccine, as do their unborn babies.

For the study, which was published in the journal Vaccine, researchers from the Institute of Behavioral Medicine Research at the OSU Wexner Medical Center gave the vaccine to 141 pregnant women, 50 of whom had not gotten the shot the prior year and 91 of whom had.

Their findings showed that while women who had received a flu shot the previous year had a better immune response to the vaccine than those who hadn’t, the prior shot did not affect how well those flu antibodies were transferred from the mother to the baby.

Doctors have long recommended flu shots for mothers-to-be because the risks of flu-related complications, hospitalizations and death are higher among pregnant women and infants, who cannot get the flu vaccine until they are 6 months old.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, flu season in the Buckeye State can stretch from October to March. For more information about the flu and flu vaccines, go to flu.ohio.gov.