I’m trying to conceive or already pregnant. Should I get the H1N1 flu vaccine?

Posted by & filed under News, The Journey.

Yes, you should — in fact, receiving the vaccine is even more important for you.

It’s our recommendation, and the Canadian National Advisory on Immunization, Motherisk, Mount Sinai hospital, World Health Organization, and Public Health Agency of Canada all support this as well: the H1N1 flu vaccine (and similar vaccines) have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies.

What’s more, as someone who’s trying to (or already) pregnant, you’re considered a “priority group” to receive the vaccine — because you and your baby are at specially high risk of being endangered by H1N1. This isn’t just a doctor’s nervous speculation: it’s what the medical community learned in 2009.

In 2009, pregnant women who caught the H1N1 flu were a staggering 400% more likely to be admitted to the hospital because of medical problems, and also had greater chances of experiencing pregnancy complications — including premature birth and loss of their pregnancy.

If you’re vaccinated, not only will you be better shielded from these potentially severe flu-related health and pregnancy complications, but the protective effect of the vaccine will be passed through the placenta.

In other words, the vaccine protects your baby as well — babies whose mothers received the vaccine were 60% less likely to have influenza in their first year.

So, as a fertility doctor, I urge you to get the vaccine.

To learn more about the science behind the vaccine and its effects on a pregnancy, read about it at Motherisk.


Motherisk. Drugs, chemicals, radiation & herbal products in pregnancy: H1N1 Influenza in Pregnancy: Risks, vaccines and antivirals. Available at: http://www.motherisk.org/women/commonDetail.jsp?content_id=914, Accessed October 21, 2015.

Public Health Agency of Canada. FluWatch Weekly Report Apr 19-Apr 25, 2009 (Week 16). Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fluwatch/08-09/w16_09/index-eng.php, Accessed October 27, 2009.

CDC. Use of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2009 MMWR 2009;58(No. RR-10) :1-8. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5810a1.htm. Accessed October 23, 2009.

World Health Organization. WHO recommendations on pandemic (H1N1) 2009 vaccines Available at http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/notes/h1n1_vaccine_20090713/en/index.html. Accessed October 29, 2009.

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