Pregnancy: H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) and the H1N1 Vaccine

What about the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine?

Can family members or other close contacts of a pregnant woman receive the nasal spray vaccine?

Pregnant women should not receive nasal spray for the seasonal or 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine, but it is okay for a pregnant woman to be around a family member or another close contact who has received nasal spray flu vaccine. The nasal spray vaccine can be used in healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant and in women after they deliver, even if they are nursing.

Can a pregnant healthcare provider give the live nasal spray flu vaccine?

Yes. No special precautions are needed. Nurses and doctors should wash their hands or use an alcohol-based hand rub before and after giving the vaccine.

What if a pregnant woman gets the live nasal spray flu vaccine instead of the flu shot?

The nasal spray flu vaccine has not been approved for pregnant women. It differs from the flu shot because it is made with live, weakened virus. However, sometimes a pregnant woman might get the nasal spray flu vaccine—for example, before she knew she was pregnant. If this happened, she would not be expected to have any additional problems. The weakened, live flu virus has never been shown to be passed to the unborn baby. However, if a woman does get the nasal spray vaccine while she is pregnant, she should talk to her healthcare provider.

If a pregnant woman delivers her baby before receiving her seasonal flu shot or her 2009 H1N1 flu shot, should she still receive them?

Yes. Besides protecting her from infection, the shot may also help protect her infant. Flu shots are only given to infants 6 months of age and older. Everyone who lives with or gives care to an infant less than 6 months of age should get both the seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 vaccines. A woman can get either the shots or the nasal spray after she delivers.

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