An Exceptionally Intelligent Reason to Have your Annual Influenza Vaccination
Influenza, or the seasonal Flu, can be extremely taxing even on the healthiest of individuals. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that everyone receive an Influenza Vaccine on a yearly basis. The reasoning for this is to build up the body’s natural antibodies against different strains of the flu. Every year the CDC is investigating, researching and preparing the vaccine for the following year. In 2011, we will receive the three types of influenza strains the CDC predicted would be most prevalent as of the information they had gathered in 2010. Usually, the CDC prepares a strain of at least three different influenza types and usually it is a different set of strains every year. Although we receive the vaccination on an annual basis, the antibodies remain in our bodies forever and that makes our immune systems stronger every time we receive another influenza vaccine!
The CDC has two strong arguments to help persuade at least women who are currently pregnant in the importance of receiving this vaccine. If you are pregnant and do not receive the vaccine the risks of contracting the Flu is increased, as it is with anyone else. However, if you are pregnant and contract the Flu, it will not only weaken you but will affect your unborn baby. While pregnant, it is imperative that your health remain at its optimum peak in order for your body to provide nourishment and growth for your baby. During the time, you are ill with the Flu; your body is not able to provide all the baby needs during that time as well. In a way, it is as if both the pregnant woman and the unborn baby have the Flu at the same time. Both bodies are weakened both immune systems suffer.
The second argument for receiving the vaccine during your pregnancy is that it has been found that after the baby is born, it’s own immune system is stronger than a baby whose mother did not receive the influenza vaccine during pregnancy. Babies of mothers who took the vaccine were not only less likely to contract the Flu during their first year of life but if they were ill, their symptoms were much milder compared to other babies who were unprotected. It appears that the vaccine seems to be able to cross the umbilical barrier and the unborn baby gets a “secondhand” dose of the influenza vaccine while still in the mother’s uterus. This is the strongest reason of all to start this year and get your annual influenza vaccine! Not just for pregnant women but also for everyone, get vaccinated early and yearly!