A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found that expectant moms who receive a flu shot may reduce their risk for having a baby smaller than their gestational age.
Babies born smaller than their gestational age may be at risk for health problems such as mental retardation, learning and behavioral problems, cerebral palsy, lung problems and vision and hearing loss.
The study included 340 pregnant women in Bangladesh who were divided into two groups — 170 who received the flu vaccine and 170 who received a different vaccine that does not protect against the flu. All of the women were in their third trimester.
When the seasonal influenza virus was circulating in the population, the flu vaccine group had fewer babies who were small for their gestational age than the other group — about 26 percent versus 45 percent.