CHICAGO – As flu season begins, the American Medical Association (AMA) is encouraging everyone six months and older, especially pregnant women, to be vaccinated against the flu. With recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing the vast majority of pregnant women in the U.S. are not vaccinated against the flu and whooping cough, it is vitally important that all pregnant women get the flu and Tdap vaccines this season.

“Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, loved ones and the public against the spread of flu. It also saves lives—especially vulnerable populations who aren’t eligible for vaccination such as babies younger than six months,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. “While October is the ideal time to get vaccinated against the flu, we urge every eligible American to get their flu vaccine as soon as possible because we know it’s the most effective way to protect against the flu and its potentially serious complications. The flu vaccine is particularly effective in reducing flu illness, doctor’s visits, missed work and school, and at preventing flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. It’s also a proven way to significantly reduce a child’s risk of influenza-associated death.

The AMA also urges physicians to encourage their pregnant patients to get the flu vaccine. Pregnant women can receive the flu vaccine during any trimester, but should receive the Tdap vaccine early in the third trimester, to protect them against flu and whooping cough.

“The AMA fully supports the overwhelming scientific evidence that shows vaccines are among the most effective and safest interventions to both prevent individual illness and protect the health of the public,” Dr. Harris continued. “The AMA will continue its work to promote public understanding and confidence in the use of vaccines to prevent resurgence of vaccine-preventable illnesses and deaths.”

The AMA has long-supported efforts to protect the public against vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly eliminating non-medical exemptions from immunization. Click here to learn about the AMA’s newest policy, as well as the March letter sent to the CEO’s of leading social media and technology companies urging them to ensure their users have access to accurate, timely, scientifically-sound information on vaccines.

 

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Kelly Jakubek

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.