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  • Influenza vaccine for pregnant women

Article

Influenza vaccine for pregnant women

Pregnant women are at increased risk of a severe influenza disease course. Therefore, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommends that pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters should take the influenza vaccine. Pregnant women in the 1st trimester with other additional risk factors are also recommended to take the vaccine.

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Illustration by Racecar, for NIPH

Pregnant women are at increased risk of a severe influenza disease course. Therefore, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommends that pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters should take the influenza vaccine. Pregnant women in the 1st trimester with other additional risk factors are also recommended to take the vaccine.


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Recommendation to pregnant women

  • Pregnant women in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters are advised to have the vaccine before the start of the influenza season.
  • Pregnant women in their 1st trimester are advised to have the vaccine if they also belong to another risk group.

The recommendation applies to the influenza season (autumn and winter).

Protects the mother and child

Influenza is as common among pregnant women as other women, but pregnant women are at greater risk of a severe disease course. The risk increases as the pregnancy progresses. If the mother becomes seriously ill, this can pose a danger to the foetus.

Infants are at greater risk of severe influenza than older children and adults. If the mother is vaccinated during pregnancy, her child will be protected for the first six months after birth.

About the influenza vaccine

Studies show that the influenza vaccine provides just as much protection for pregnant women as for other healthy adults. On average, it provides protection against influenza for 60 % of those who are vaccinated. This means that many who have been vaccinated may still be infected, but there are many indications that they have a milder disease course than if they had not been vaccinated.

The influenza vaccine recommended for pregnant women is given as a single dose and contains only fragments of the influenza virus, salts and water. The vaccine does not cause influenza disease.

The influenza vaccine does not protect against coronavirus (COVID-19) or other viruses and bacteria that cause influenza-like symptoms.

Side effects

Common side effects are tenderness, redness and swelling around the injection site, as well as muscle pain. Serious side effects and allergic reactions are very rare after influenza vaccination.

Having the influenza vaccine during pregnancy does not increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth or harm to the foetus.

When and how can I get the influenza vaccine?

Vaccination usually takes place between October and December before the influenza season begins, but it is not too late to be vaccinated if you enter your second trimester later in the season.

Each municipality organises local vaccination of risk groups. To find out where you can get the vaccine, check your municipality's website, the website of your family doctor, or ask your midwife.

Price

The influenza vaccine is free to risk groups and other target groups for influenza vaccination in the 2021/2022 season.

If you take the vaccine through the municipality, the vaccination is also free. If you are vaccinated at your doctor's office, you will pay 50 Norwegian kroner (egenandel). For those who have a free card, vaccination is also free at the doctor's office.

Vaccination at pharmacies is not part of the influenza immunisation programme, and anyone who is vaccinated there must pay the full price for the vaccine and vaccination. This also applies to people in the target groups.

History

12.11.2021: Updated as per the Norwegian version.