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    Mayo Clinic Minute: Why pregnant women need flu shots

Should pregnant women get flu shots? During flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all people over 6 months be vaccinated against the influenza virus. That includes pregnant women.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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"Yeah, pregnant women definitely should get the influenza vaccine," Dr. Tina Ardon, a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician.

Pregnant women are more likely to get severe symptoms and are at higher risk of hospitalization than women who are not pregnant. But some pregnant women worry that the flu vaccine is dangerous for them or their baby. Dr. Ardon says it’s safe and essential.

"Influenza is definitely a priority if you’re pregnant during flu season," says Dr. Ardon. "I know how important that is."

The flu shot protects your unborn baby because high fevers early on in the pregnancy increase the risk of fetal birth defects.

Dr. Ardon recommends the flu shot ─ not the FluMist ─ for pregnant women. Unlike the flu shot, FluMist contains weakened live virus. So protect yourself and your baby from the flu by getting a flu shot.