Flu vaccine saves unborn babies: DAK

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Srinagar Urging expectant mothers to get flu shots Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said this is the best way pregnant women can protect their unborn babies.

 President DAK and flu expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said flu vaccine in pregnancy saves infants from dying in the womb.

“A large Australian study discovered that flu shots during pregnancy guard against stillbirths (When a baby dies in the womb). In a retrospective cohort analysis of nearly 60,000 births, flu vaccination was associated with 51% reduction in stillbirths,” he said.

Dr Nisar said during the 2009 swine flu pandemic, similar reduction in stillbirths were seen following vaccination.

While worldwide 3 million babies die in the womb each year, in Kashmir 1,052 stillbirths were recorded in past 3 years at Lal Ded hospital alone, he said.

“Mother’s flu shot protects her baby for up to 6 months after he/she is born. This is important because babies younger than 6 months can’t get vaccinated. The risk of premature labor and delivery increases when pregnant women catch the flu and there is a greater chance of their babies having birth defects.

Women are about six times more likely to die if they get flu while pregnant. The easiest way for pregnant women to protect themselves, their developing babies and their newborn babies is by way of a simple flu jab,” he said. (PTK)

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