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Flu shots during pregnancy could benefit babies

(AFP) / 24 May 2012

Women who get flu shots while pregnant could also be protecting the health of their babies before and after birth, a new study suggests.

Using statistics from the Canadian province of Ontario, the findings, published this week in the American Journal of Public Health, are based on comparisons between expecting women who did and did not receive an H1N1 vaccine during the 2009-2010 “swine flu” pandemic that killed more than 14,000 people worldwide.

“Our results suggest that second- or third-trimester H1N1 vaccination was associated with improved fetal and neonatal outcomes during the recent pandemic,” the researchers write in an abstract that also underscored that the findings need to be confirmed by future studies.

Earlier this month, another group of Canadian researchers discovered that the “swine flu” vaccine triggered a series of antibodies that protect against many other types of flu, including the highly lethal H5N1 bird flu strain.



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