Vaccinating women against influenza and whooping cough during each pregnancy helps protect both them and their babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Only 1 in 3 pregnant women in the US receive both influenza and whooping cough vaccines.
The CDC recommends all pregnant women receive flu vaccine at any time during pregnancy, and whooping cough vaccine, or Tdap, early in their third trimester, during each pregnancy.
Pregnant women who get vaccinated pass antibodies to their babies, protecting babies in the first few months of life before they can get their own vaccines.
Babies less than 6 months old are at the highest risk of all children for hospitalization from influenza. Flu vaccination during pregnancy lowers risk of influenza hospitalization in babies less than 6 months old by an average of 72% and pregnant women by an average of 40%. Women with influenza are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized if they are pregnant.
38% of pregnant women who didn’t get Tdap say they didn’t know the vaccine was needed in each pregnancy. Tdap vaccination during pregnancy lowers risk of whooping cough in babies less than 2 months old by 78% and hospitalization due to whooping cough in babies less than 2 months old by 91%. 69% of reported whooping cough deaths occur in babies less than 2 months old.