Only one in three U.S. pregnant women receive both the flu and whooping cough vaccines as recommended, according to a Vital Signs report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC recommends all pregnant women receive a flu vaccine during each pregnancy and the whooping cough vaccine (Tdap) early in the third trimester of each pregnancy to protect themselves and their infants. Women are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for flu when pregnant, and 69% of whooping cough deaths occur in babies under 2 months old. Three in four pregnant women surveyed last flu season said their health care provider offered or made a referral for the flu and Tdap vaccines. The most common reasons respondents cited for not getting vaccinated were believing the flu vaccine was not effective or safe, or the Tdap vaccine was not needed each pregnancy. “CDC strongly recommends that health care providers speak with moms-to-be about the benefits of safe Tdap and flu vaccination for their health and the well-being of their babies,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D.

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