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Flu Shots Lower Risk Of Hospitalization In Pregnant Women

Expectant mothers go through changes in their organs and immune system that leave them open to severe flu infections.

Now an international study shows that flu shots can help keep them out of the hospital.

Roughly one-half of pregnant women in recent years reported receiving a flu shot.

But research in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases reports that flu shots could lower their risk of hospitalization by about 40 percent.

Based on medical records of 2 million pregnant women, researchers found the vaccine helped regardless of trimester and also protected those with other conditions, like asthma and diabetes.

During the study, 80 percent of subjects were pregnant for part of a flu season, which suggests that future mothers will likely encounter the flu while expecting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which co-authored the study, says flu shots have a good safety record with pregnant women, but added that they should not get the nasal spray vaccine.

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Nicholas Gerbis joined KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk in 2016. A longtime science, health and technology journalist and editor, his extensive background in related nonprofit and science communications inform his reporting on Earth and space sciences, neuroscience and behavioral health, and bioscience/biotechnology.Apart from travel and three years in Delaware spent earning his master’s degree in physical geography (climatology), Gerbis has spent most of his life in Arizona. He also holds a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University’s Cronkite School and a bachelor’s degree in geography (climatology/meteorology), also from ASU.Gerbis briefly “retired in reverse” and moved from Arizona to Wisconsin, where he taught science history and science-fiction film courses at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is glad to be back in the Valley and enjoys contributing to KJZZ’s Untold Arizona series.During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gerbis focused almost solely on coronavirus-related stories and analysis. In addition to reporting on the course of the disease and related research, he delved into deeper questions, such as the impact of shutdowns on science and medicine, the roots of vaccine reluctance and the policies that exacerbated the virus’s impact, particularly on vulnerable populations.