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Breastfeeding and Flu Shots

Expert Pediatrics Q&A


Updated November 18, 2006

Q. Can I get a flu shot if I am breastfeeding? Priscilla.

A. Just like medications and breastfeeding, pediatricians are often asked about flu shots and breastfeeding...

Flu Shots and Breastfeeding

Yes, a flu shot is safe for breastfeeding mothers.

In fact, since your breastfed child is likely in a high risk group for complications from the flu because of her age, a flu shot is probably recommended for most breastfeeding mothers, unless there was another contraindication to your getting a flu shot.

Remember that you should get a flu shot if you are a household contact of someone in a high risk group, which includes:

  • newborns and infants under 6 months old, who are too young to get a flu shot
  • children between the ages of 6 months and 59 months old

FluMist and Breastfeeding

On the other hand, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices advises 'caution' when considering taking FluMist, the live virus flu vaccine nasal spray, when you are breastfeeding.

1Prevention and Control of Influenza. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR. July 28, 2006 / 55(RR10), 1-42.

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