'You're more at risk': Pregnant women urged to get flu shot

NOW: ’You’re more at risk’: Pregnant women urged to get flu shot

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Doctors at Aurora Health Centers want to remind patients about the importance of getting the flu shot, especially pregnant women.  

"You're more at risk of having complications that you wouldn't normally have," said Dr. Marie Forgie, an OBGYN at Aurora Sinai Health Center. "Your body is just different during pregnancy." 

Forgie says it's even more important this year with the COVID-19 virus circulating. 

"The Covid virus hasn't been around all that long, but we do know that it does weaken your immune system, even after you get over it," said Forgie. "So we do worry about the influences of getting other illnesses on top of recently having COVID, or getting it at the same time." 

She says getting the flu shot can provide protection to both the mother and the child. It also provides protection to the child for the first six months of their life, a time when they're unable to get their own flu shot. 

Forgie says mothers who do voice concern are usually worried about Thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative in the vaccine.

"Researchers, again, have studied this at length and have found no increased risk of developmental impairments such as autism in those vaccines," said Forgie. 

But she says mothers who are still worried can request a vaccine without Thimerosal. 

Pregnant women who are getting a COVID-19 vaccine for the first time, or a booster shot, can still get the flu shot. 

Forgie says they are not related and therefore you do not have to wait a certain amount of time in between the two. 

Pregnant women should only get the flu shot, not the nasal spray. Forgie says the shot is not a living flu. Although it can have side effects, like a fever, it is not giving the flu to the patient. 

Aurora Health Care's website has details about where to get a flu shot.

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