Vaccines

What’s new with the flu shot?

Dominic Wu, MD
Dominic Wu, MD, Contributing Editor

If you are planning to get a flu shot but have not yet done so, it may be worth waiting a little longer, as data on patients from four recent flu seasons found that protection against the virus declined over the course of the winter.

Using social media to help parents get vaccine questions answered

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Doctors want their patients to have access to accurate and helpful health information, and today that means online. Researchers found that expectant mothers who used a website that provided information about vaccines were more likely to get their babies vaccinated.

Good news about the HPV vaccine

Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The administration of the HPV vaccine has significantly lowered rates of infection among the population it is intended to protect, as well as among those who have not been vaccinated.

Flu shots during pregnancy

Andrea Chisholm, MD
Andrea Chisholm, MD, Contributor

A recent small study linked the flu shot during pregnancy with an increased risk for miscarriage. However it did not establish that the flu shot causes miscarriage. Despite these results, pregnant women should be reassured that the benefits of getting a flu shot outweigh any potential risk.

10 things parents should know about flu shots

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Even though it’s only the beginning of September, parents should be thinking about scheduling flu shots for their children (and themselves). Here’s the latest information everyone needs to know about getting vaccinated.

How we can all help protect babies with immunizations

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

In a study of pregnant women, more than half received no information about immunizations for their babies. When they did, it was more likely to be negative if it came from a friend or family member.

Why vaccines are important for our country’s financial health, too

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Vaccinating babies and toddlers prevents many illnesses, but it also helps the avoid high costs associated with treating those illnesses, helps reduce sick time taken by parents, and contributes to greater immunity in a population.

The flu shot saves children’s lives

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

Even though this year’s flu season is just about over, parents should be thinking about protecting their children next winter. Despite short-term reactions in some people, the flu shot is safe for nearly everyone.

2017 update to the immunization schedule for kids

Claire McCarthy, MD
Claire McCarthy, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

The CDC and the AAP update their vaccine recommendations every year, and here are the latest changes. These updates show just how important it is to stay on top of research and help increase the effectiveness of each vaccine. The schedule for routine immunizations and catching up kids who get behind can be found on the CDC and AAP websites if you’d like more information.

Flu news: Now most people with egg allergies can get a flu shot

Wynne Armand, MD
Wynne Armand, MD, Contributing Editor

If you have been avoiding the flu shot because you’re allergic to eggs, studies suggest that you can safely get vaccinated. Allergic reactions to the flu shot are quite rare. If you’ve never had a reaction to a flu shot, protect yourself by getting one this year. Ideally do it in a doctor’s office or hospital so that you can get prompt treatment in the unlikely event you have an immediate, severe reaction.